One Shots: Shadow play


Welcome to a new year -- and the best year of One Shots you'll ever see. I know this because I've been to the future (December 31st, 2015) and spent those precious time-bending moments flipping through all of the One Shots column this year. Amazing stuff, people. Really well done.

Well, we might as well get started with your glorious photo journeys! Our very first pic of the year is from reader Becca, who sends us this groovy bit of shadow play in Elder Scrolls Online: "While waiting for a boss to spawn in a public dungeon, my friend Arkslan and my character Rozyn had some fun with lighting."

Great. Now I know what will be lurking under my bed tonight: a sing-songy bard. Terror knows no name, but it does sing harmony.

Exiting the confines of the Musical Cavern of Doom, we emerge blinking into the sunlight like newborns to gaze on the wonders of a color palette hence unknown to us. Reader David narrates our trip into the newest World of Warcraft expansion.

"This is what I saw upon entering the Spires of Arak, one of the more breathtaking zones in Drenor," he writes. "The Spires is inhabited by a Avian race shown here called the Arakkoa. The Arakkoa bring back wonderful memories of The Dark Crystal.

"The Arakkoa race is split into winged beings and their non-winged brethren. The former believe that the latter group is cursed and is attempting a racial cleansing. The player is thrust into the middle of this and may choose to try to help these majestic birds avoid genocide."

One thing that I've learned educationally from MMOs is that all medieval-stage fantasy worlds have placed a priority on developing majestic fireworks before clean sewage systems and refrigerated beverages. I guess it's of some comfort when you're dying on gangrene on the battlefield and can be cheered by colorful exploding lights up above.

Reader Jon sends in this selfie from Final Fantasy XIV, where he dressed up for the occasion. Actually, I'm pretty sure that gangrene, acne, and silent farts are not existant in such a pretty world like this. They probably have roving police that wisk away the undesirables if someone gets a scar that's more disfiguring than sexy.

Speaking of sexy, how about a picture of a suggestive rock outcropping? The strength, the power, the majesty of the following granite (topped by fleshy things) is enough to make any silicon-based lifeform swoon.

"I came across this mermaid just hanging out in RIFT at the Goboro Reef, perched on the bow of a wrecked ship. I sat down beside her to hear her stories, but strangely she didn't have much to say," Non-Rock Bill said.

I just know that one of your new year's resolutions is to send in more One Shots, so to help you with that, I present my screenshot challenge to you this week: Show off what you did over the recent holiday break. And describe it in haiku.

P.S. -- I will be so disappointed if I get fewer than four submissions for this one.

Want to be featured in a future edition of One Shots? Send your favorite MMO screenshots to, and don't forget to include your name, the name of the game, and a description of the scene. Large, colorful, UI-free shots that tell a story and really show off the game make for the best images. Look ma, we brought back One Shots!