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WRUP: Partial disaster edition

Eliot Lefebvre

I'm always amused when something is called a complete disaster. It seems unnecessary to me. If something is a disaster, by definition, that's pretty much all that needs to be said. You don't have partial disasters running around. Localized disasters, sure, but they're still disasters. It's not a proper disaster otherwise.

As a result, I think we really need some more incomplete disasters. You know, a disaster that gets up to good, solid disaster levels and then just sort of loses interest partway through. Maybe a hurricane that just gives up and sits five miles off of the coast until it dissipates. I harbor no illusions about removing the concept of a complete disaster, but I'd like some contrast.

This installment of WRUP is not a disaster, complete or incomplete. It's actually a column in which the Massively staff members explains their weekend plans, and this week it's also a spot for us to sound off about one-time events. You can also let us know what you're up to in the comments, although you can't let us know whether your plans were a disaster until after the fact.

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist
@Beau_Hindman: I will be switching to Taikodom for next week's Rise and Shiny. I played it once a million years ago. I'll also be playing on my standard list of browser MMOs like Illyriad and Glitch and will be killing time in some DC Universe Online.

One-time events could be the entire thrust of an MMO and I'd be happy. They're also called live events and are probably the greatest thing a developer can do. Are they easy to do? I'm not so sure, but I know that I'd rather play a live event than the same predictable content.

Bree Royce, Editor-in-Chief
@nbrianna: I hope to be in Guild Wars 2 this weekend, but that's just one of many games on my "gonna get back to this someday" list.

I love live, impromptu MMO events, but the over-scheduled, multi-phase/-day, one-time-only event that starts at noon on a work day -- i.e., the event that inspired this question -- is not really doing it for me.

David Desi, Multimedia Contributor
@PsykopigAU: I am getting into Champions Online again and will likely be hitting some of that with a splash of Guild Wars 2!

I love one-time events, and I especially love it when there is some kind of permanent reward for taking part. It's one of those "I did it, did you?" situations. That's what MMOs are all about!

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
@Eliot_Lefebvre: Let's see, what's happening this weekend in Final Fantasy XIV? Oh, right, the end of the world. You'd better believe I'm going to see that. Other than that I'll be playing a bit of Star Wars: The Old Republic and trying out some single-player titles. I'm looking to break up my routine a little, since my current array of three regular MMOs will be down to one game by the end of the month.

I have two major problems with one-time events. The first is that it's pretty well impossible to schedule them so that everyone gets a fair shot at taking part. The other is that as someone with a vast army of characters, I get a bit of an eye-twitch at the thought of choosing which character gets the mark of distinction. Despite that, I love them -- I think they just need to be handled a bit cautiously.

Elisabeth Cardy, Guild Wars 2 Columnist and Contributing Editor
@elixabethclaire: Since I've reserved most of next weekend for gaming, I'll be going pretty light on games this weekend. Still trying to get to the point where I can say I've seen every dungeon and path in Guild Wars 2, so I'll hope to get into an explorable run or two, but that might be about it.

As for the bonus -- I just mentioned that I've reserved most of next weekend for gaming, and that's largely due to a one-time in-game event. I'm normally a fan, so I'm excited to see how this one holds up.

Jef Reahard, Managing Editor and Columnist Extraordinaire@jefreahard: I'm playing a little Assassin's Creed III, a little Guns of Icarus Online (highly recommended), and a little DC Universe Online. I've also returned to EverQuest II for the umpteen millionth time and am playing a lot of that.

I like the idea of one-time events, but then I also like non-linear gameplay that isn't focused on progression, so clearly I'm off my rocker.

Jeremy Stratton, Contributing Editor
@Jeremy_Stratton: If the stars and moon align properly, I'll be playing Guild Wars 2, Vanguard, and Fallen Earth. I've been away from FE for a very long time; I need to remedy that. I love cruising around on my bike, running around with my dog, and setting up a tent to just rummage around for crafting materials.

Weren't one-time events begged for in the past? I remember talk of GM events, which are essentially a GM jumping in and putting on an event, which would kinda be a one-time affair. I love 'em.

Karen Bryan, Columnist Extraordinaire
@JayeRnH: The past two weeks have been full of beta for me, so I might try to pop in and actually play a live game this weekend. Not sure what yet, although I know I'll be spending time in Free Realms with the kids. They're still having a blast in Sunstone and starting to get into crafting now.

I love one-time events in MMOs except when I miss them because I can't play when they're taking place, and then I really hate them.

Matt Daniel, Contributing Editor
@mvmatt: With any luck I'll be receiving my replacement hard drive (since my current one decided it was time for a vacation) within the next couple of days, which means I should have my computer up and running in time to get some playtime in The Secret World this weekend. I also really wanna get back into RIFT because Storm Legion has managed to rekindle my interest. Beyond that, I'll be giving my Xbox some love and playing game after game of Halo 4.

One-time events are probably one of my favorite things in the history of ever, honestly. Bonus points if it's a one-time event that decides the direction the story takes or that makes a permanent impact on the game world.

Mike Foster, Contributing Editor
@MikedotFoster: I'm working on a game in Game Maker, playing around with World of Warplanes (yeah, I'm in the beta -- it's like, no bigs) and probably watching my bestie play some Assassin's Creed III. Oh, and I need to finish my Pac-Man painting!

I like one-time events. I'm generally for anything that gives players an incentive to show up and a way to brag about "being there" when the event expires. Check my Tabard of the Protector, yo!

MJ Guthrie, Aion and Sandbox Columnist and Contributing Editor
@MJ_Guthrie: I am looking forward to my first big chunk of gaming time in, oh... I don't know how long! I plan on diving deep into EverQuest II to see if I can find joy in a class other than Fury. So far, the answer has been no, to the point that even my once-main Swashbuckler has been languishing and all but forgotten. I also plan to terrorize Egypt in The Secret World. And by terrorize, I mean either the Illuminati or mobs -- either works!

After thinking a moment, I am on the fence about this question. After all, being in on something that is unique is totally awesome and the basis for my favorite type of gameplay. It fosters community by giving people who were a part of it a shared bond. But on the other hand, I have been on the have-not side of the fence when events I want to attend happen at times I am unable to attend, especially due to an odd work schedule. I'm doubly sad when I lose out on a cool item! Stressing over missing out is not a fun part of gaming.

Patrick Mackey, League of Legends Columnist
@mackeypb: I haven't really decided on what I'll be playing other than League of Legends. I asked my girlfriend what games we could play together, and she was very wishy-washy with her answer. Maybe we could play LoL together!

I don't really like one-time events if the rewards are one-time only. Even if they don't give big gameplay benefits, it creates rifts between haves and have-nots. I'd rather see persistent content, and it makes more sense to re-use assets that you paid development time for. To be honest, when I see one-time events, it annoys me because it costs subscriber money (or whatever payment money) but doesn't give content to people who can't play during the event.

At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!

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