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Halloween Massive Gaming News 131

Holidays are always interesting times in the Massive Gaming market and this weekend is no exception. Spooks, trick or treating, interviews, anniversaries, and conferences are just some of the Halloween weekend news to share. Read on for the details.

City of Heroes is running a Trick or Treat and Zombie invasion event this weekend. Folks in Europe looking to get their cape on can look forward to participating sometime next year.

Anarchy Online is celebrating the season with a holiday ball and costume contest, as well as nanotech transformations and monster sightings.

Final Fantasy Online players and developers have a lot to be happy about this weekend. Today is the one-year anniversary of the North American launch, and they're throwing a party to celebrate. In-game, the annual trick or treating, costuming, and spookery is going on. This year they're also throwing around some glamours to let players take the part of monsters for a while. Square-Enix revised upwards it's earning estimates this week, giving even executives reason to smile.

In non-holiday news, Richard Garriot was interviewed by HomeLAN about the upcoming Tabula Rasa game, and has some new info on Dungeons and Dragons Online from the lead designer.

Finally, the Second Annual State of Play conference is this weekend, drawing Virtual World academics from all over to celebrate Halloween by lecturing. Nerd on, guys.

Update: 10/28 18:50 GMT by Z : There's a press release going around stating that City of Villians playtesters will be drawn from the ranks of veteran CoH players.

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Halloween Massive Gaming News

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  • by YetAnotherName ( 168064 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:27PM (#10654813) Homepage
    Read on for the details.

    OK, clicking "Read more..."

    Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

    OK ... um ... eek?
  • by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:31PM (#10654866)
    In CoH, at least, there have been several player-run events that were very interesting, if only because players interested in hosting them took the time to RP things pretty well.

    I would love to see a game that has a system in place for players to do some things that would enhance the events they can do - drop clues and so on.

    I bring this up in this topic because CoH has had a few "invasion" type events that lacked any real flavor beyond "oh, look! A thingy spawned!" and maybe a forum post saying "be on the look out for strangeness."

    Players, however, would take the ability to make mini events and would likely spend more time on them than Cryptic employees who need to focus on other stuff.

    • Among all the weaknesses (and as a player since launch, trust me -- there are MANY) of SWG, this is probably what kept me hooked the longest. With a rich player-crafting environment, I've seen all sorts of creative uses of in-game vendors, well-named items, "actors" to roleplay key characters, and some out-of-game (typically Web) content to create mini "adventures." Of course, a lot of that was simply the minds behind them -- I've had the pleasure of working with some really creative folks (even professional game designers in their off time) to build these sorts of events.

      Then of course, there's Second Life -- nobody can say that lacks tools!
    • by Valegor ( 693552 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @01:23PM (#10655457)
      I tend to think that the previous events have just been tests for something big when they release City of Villians.

      I took part in the test of the halloween thing on the test Sever Tuesday, and it was certainly fun. You don't know when you click on a door if you are going to get a treat(insp, enhancement, temp power, etc) or a trick(Zombie, ghost, witch, etc attacking you). They said that it was only a small part of the event, but that alone was far more fun then I had anticipated. I for one can't wait until this weekend to see what they have cooked up.
    • Well, I was on the test server and got to experience their trial of halloween.

      You can click on each mission door (assuming it's not unlocking YOUR mission), and get either a trick or a treat.

      Tricks involve witches, werewolves, or pumpkin heads attacking you.

      Treats involve inspirations, some enhancements, and the almighty ROCK!

      It was interesting, but nothing to write home about.

      I wish they'd start doing more events. Supposedly the latest incursion of eye-balls was just sort of a "recon" thing, with spe

    • I sure had bad timing considering I just recently cancelled my ancient AO (circa 2001) and younger CoH accounts. Last year AO had mobs that dropped a variety of things but the best was a pumpkin shaped floating torch. I wanted one soooo bad but could never find a spawn. Also the entire planet was bathed in eerie darkness.

      For Christmas a few years ago they had Leets wearing Santa Hats that dropped Christmas gifts. When you opened them you got a goofy present like an arrow hat or monster sunglasses. It
  • Guild Wars (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Don't forget about the Guild Wars ( []) World Preview Event also happening this weekend.
  • Oh hell... (Score:4, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:32PM (#10654873) Homepage Journal

    I forgot it was Halloween this weekend. Have to run out to buy apples and razor blades tonight...
    • by eegad ( 588763 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @01:03PM (#10655232)
      Well, OK.... but you don't HAVE to shave your legs to dress up as the evil witch from Snow White.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        I'd be surprised if he didn't have to shave his back to fit into the dress.
    • to date, none of those razorblades in trick-or-treat apples events have occurred. I'm thinking it would have something to do with it being rather difficult to insert a razorblade all the way into an apple, much less to do so in a way that it would not be glaringly obvious.

      Check this title out for other things that you needn't necessarily be afraid of anymore... 65 014909/104-7528517-6259133?v=glance

      • Well, after watching CSI:New York last night, I've learned I need to be scared of nibbling on any part of girls when I eat sushi off them...

        ... dammit.

        I'd trade that in for remaining afraid of apples, poisoned wagon wheels, any all the other "be careful, kids!" FUD that used to keep us alive Back in tha Day.

    • That is very thoughtful of you. Apples are a wholesome and tasty treat, but their sugar content makes them inedible for the ever-increasing population of obese youths that are undertaking "carb conscious" dieting plans. Razor blades are not only low in carbs. but are also an excellent source of iron. I applaud you for your efforts in helping win the war against fatness. Hopefully your example will lead many other /.'ers to do the same.

  • by happyemoticon ( 543015 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:33PM (#10654887) Homepage
    In-game, the annual trick or treating, costuming, and spookery is going on. This year they're also throwing around some glamours to let players take the part of monsters for a while.

    The practice of going into a game and assuming a different persona only to have that persona assume yet another persona is kind of mind-boggling especially if you're a humanities student. I mean, it was bad enough last year when I dressed up as a vampirate.

    • by kcornia ( 152859 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:48PM (#10655053) Journal
      This year they're also throwing around some glamours to let players take the part of monsters for a while.

      IIRC, EQ tried this a couple years back and had to quickly shelve it because toons were getting owned by monsters that were manned by actual players with skill and strategery. Strafing, concentrating on spellcasters/healers. Hilarity ensued, and the idea was quickly shelved so as not to alienate the unskilled masses..

      Good luck to whatever game is trying this now.
      • The FFXI event doesn't work that way. While you're in that form you can't do anything that requires targeting. But it was funny as heck to see players freaking out. People were screaming about an invasion.
        • Yeah, on that subject... Some of the NPCs that give you a costume are in stores. The way the costumes work is that it's a kind of "buff," that takes place immediately after giving the costumed NPC a "treat."

          These stores have a door which you must open to enter them. In FFXI, doors open by targetting them and "acting" on them. They then open for five seconds or so and then automatically close.

          Since they automatically close, you must therefore also open them to leave. Except openning doors is a targe

      • Ahh, but this isn't exactly whats happening in FFXI. Basically a few NPCs in the three major towns (San D'Oria, Bastok and Windurst) are "dressed up" as monsters, you give them sweet treats (like chocolate, pies or fruit) and they will either give you a halloweenish item or turn you into a monster.

        The monster costumes they give you are enhancements which can be "clicked off" or wear off when you go to another zone, say, outside of town. Since no battles can be had in town then there's no user controlled fi
      • EQ tried this a couple years back and had to quickly shelve it because toons were getting owned by monsters that were manned by actual players with skill and strategery.

        EQ did do this for a very short time several years ago. It was not publicized widely at all, and was only available on the test server for a very short period of time. By clicking a special button on the character select, the player was spawned as a randomly selected monster, with a max level of 13.

        It was initially intended as a sho

        • If memory serves me right... this was done on a PvP server and was called Project M.

          You could play a monster and would randomly spawn as one on some random map. You could kill other monsters and gain experience. You started as a low level monster (level 1-5) and some people actually got to level 12 I think. Since dying will just reset you back to another monster.

          The problems were that you would have people playing monsters play like players do (which tends to be annoying). For example: you run up to so
          • sewe, that's one of the things that I liek about FFXI (even if it has gotten me killed a few times). All intelligent monsters 'link', meanign that if they see another mob of their general type(goblin, orc, etc) moving to attack some one, they follow, even if they can't see the target of their friend. several non-sentient mobs do the same thing, such as bats and beetles. Mobs that Link are trikier to pull bakc to the party. what reallu sucks is when you are ont he way back, and one or two spawn rigth behind
          • If memory serves me right... this was done on a PvP server and was called Project M. You could play a monster and would randomly spawn as one on some random map. You could kill other monsters and gain experience. You started as a low level monster (level 1-5) and some people actually got to level 12 I think. Since dying will just reset you back to another monster.

            You are partly correct, and partly incorrect. The project was called Project M, however it took place on the Test Server (as did most expe

    • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:49PM (#10655061)
      Ah, but what if your persona assumes the additional persona of yet another persona?

      And what if that persona is a professional mimic assuming yet a fourth level persona?

      I smell the burgeoning field of persona therapist to deal with all the personal identity angst.

    • It's like running a virtual machine on a virtual machine.. only with people. The concept isn't that strange really.
  • by Gnasty ( 14533 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:33PM (#10654898)
    Guild Wars is having a free preview event this weekend starting tomorrow, thru Sunday... Hopefully it will be more of a treat than a trick. And hey, just think of all those free costume ideas! :-) []
  • SWG event (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:34PM (#10654900)

    You are assaulted by hordes of undead wookies at the starport, which have the power to Force choke and Force lightning you from across the map.

    IF you manage to kill one, you will loot a pair of equippable pink hotpants or a locked container.

    • by goodhell ( 227411 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @01:50PM (#10655741)
      If you are killed by an undead wookie you will respawn in the Cantina on Tatooine forced to watch over and over as GREEDO SHOOTS FIRST until you finally succumb to George Lucas's 'vision' of Star Wars.

      Then you will be forced to watch Jar Jar strip tease a Naboo audience. Oh the horror!!!
  • Get in the spirit! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cloudkj ( 685320 )
    I think in these days of high-stress filled lives, all of us, especially those of us in the tech world, need to step back and just take a breather. What better way to do so by regressing back to your childhood, and going out to trick-o-treat or spending some good time with halloween-related games []?
  • Lineage II (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rpillala ( 583965 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:35PM (#10654915)
    There are rumors of an undead army appearing someplace in Lineage II's world of Aden. For the past couple of weeks there's been a repeating systemwide announcement saying "A great evil is approaching..." and then more recently "The evil moves deeper into Aden." Then just 2 days ago, an announcement came that an undead army had arisen around one of the northern towns. Lots of people flocked there but as far as I know, the announcement was premature.
    • Re:Lineage II (Score:3, Informative)

      by dfiguero ( 324827 )
      I've been in Dion twice when those announcements came. In one of those times I had a store set up in one of the town's entrances and 1 or 2 mins after the announcement a couple of skeletons came and started hitting me.

      The other time I also had a store but this time I had learned my lesson and set the store away from the entrances. I saw 3 or 4 mobs running into town targeting the guy with the shop closest to the entrance.

      Not sure if it has to do with Halloween or C2 coming out.
      • On Lionna where I play, someone says there were 2 soul scavengers up at once the other day. I hope C2 has more stuff like this in it. People I know who played Lineage I are disappointed that the GMs don't seem to do anything new for ppl.
    • In Gludio last night there were 3 or 4 large monsters that were spawning in town. About 20-30 players were attacking them at once. I forget the name of the monsters but they looked like larger versions of the Bugbears, I recall their name had some possessive in it... like so-and-so's something or other. The rumor I heard about the undead army was that they were going to destroy areas to make room for C2.
      • The rumor I heard about the undead army was that they were going to destroy areas to make room for C2.
        OMG I wish they would destroy some of these areas. The early game in Lineage II is pretty tired now. Depending on your level, this can include almost everything in the game at this point. I would certainly like to see chaos other than random PK.
  • I am going to be trick or treating on Halloween not playing games. I am uh, a little old for it but I am planning on selling all the candy on eBay to make huge profits. Yeeeeeeep.

    Free Flat Screen HERE! []

  • Asheron's Call 1 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Etone ( 627948 )
    AC1, which used to be known for having holiday-themed items/quests in patches, this year has nothing holiday related.

    I think this marks the first year in its history that it hasn't.

    • never underestimate turbines sense of humor. AC1 will probably see some kind of "holloween prank" as they always have. Besides, if the AC1 crowd is still as I left it, there'll be plenty of player-run stuff going on.
    • Re:Asheron's Call 1 (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tofino ( 628530 )
      AC's fall costume whackiness is happening with next month's prop. But yes, there will almost surely be an event of some sort on Oct. 31. Bit annoying that the costumes, scarecrows, pumpkins, and such are in for November though. I guess they're THANKSGIVING pumpkins!
  • Scary HTML (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by scumbucket ( 680352 )
    It just took approximately 6 page reloads to get this story along with comments to finally render correctly in Firefox.

    Now that's a scary game to play! Especially if you are a subscriber........
  • by ptbarnett ( 159784 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:43PM (#10655001)
    Normally, when someone is killed, a backpack replaces the corpse and can be looted by either enemies of friendlies.

    Currently, a pumpkin appears instead of a backpack.

  • by GillBates0 ( 664202 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:48PM (#10655051) Homepage Journal
    I'm adding a shortcut to ghostview on my desktop.
  • My uhm...son told me that Disney's MMO game, ToonTown [] will also be having a massive Bloodsucker Lawbot invasion sometime(s) this weekend. Yeah my son, that's it!
  • Pumpkin Pie (Score:4, Informative)

    by hattig ( 47930 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:54PM (#10655117) Journal
    Take 1 Pumpkin, hollow it out as you would normally because you want to make it into a scary face. Keep the seeds for roasting (wash them, roast on tray for 90 minutes, have with salt). Throw away the guts. Cut out lots of the flesh until the pumpkin is around 1cm thick all around, or less. Spoons are good for scraping. Most of you should have well developed wrists so you shouldn't get too tired by scraping repetitively.

    Boil the pumpkin flesh for half an hour, drain and mash.

    Heat oven to 200C/400F. Put shortcrust pastry into pie dish (9" or more, if you got lots of pumpkin flesh).

    Beat pumpkin with can of evaporated milk, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix well.

    Pour mixture into pastry lined pie dish. Cook 40 minutes or until knife comes out of pie clean when inserted. Serve hot with cream.

    Alternatively search Google for Pumpkin Pie recipes. But don't waste that pumpkin flesh! You can also make pumpkin soup.
  • by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:57PM (#10655157) Homepage Journal
    The most interesting things happening to the MMORPG world will happen in November. Everquest 2 is set to launch on November 8th, while a large majority of the Beta testers have said that it is not ready for release. Of course, that didn't stop SOE from releasing Star Wars: Galaxies well before it was stable, so why should it stop them for Everquest 2?

    Rumors are also going wild about World of Warcraft being launched on November 22nd (as told by a high-level staff member of Vivendi). That game is very good, and while it has a high degree of polish some are complaining that it's not quite up to the "Blizzard Standard". Personally I don't think so - I'm in the Beta and it's incredibly well done. The next patch (coming next week) will add in a ton of content, including the first Raid encounter.

    • No way will WoW be released November 22nd. Many beta testers have their doubts about it being released in 2004, and knowing how Blizzard will not release a game before it's ready, that would not suprise me. If there's anything Halo 2 and Half-Life 2 have tought me, it's to not get excited until something official has been said.
    • The most interesting things happening to the MMORPG world will happen in November. Everquest 2 is set to launch on November 8th, while a large majority of the Beta testers have said that it is not ready for release. Of course, that didn't stop SOE from releasing Star Wars: Galaxies well before it was stable, so why should it stop them for Everquest 2?

      I beg to disagree. This is the third or fourth time I've participated in a MMORPG beta and EverQuest2 is better prepared than any of the others were, especi

      • I agree in EQ II, but SWG sucked out of the box and for many many many months after.

        Last time I checked (May 2004), there were still problems with pets auto-storing, zoning, etc. at or near server boundaries, etc.

        I played a solid three months from two days after release, the giant nerf bat started whacking, and I left.

        I had an account for a while after still, checked in a couple of times to see what improvements were made. Was not impressed, the game is a bomb, IMHO.

  • Achaea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pavo ( 70713 )
    The only mud that matters,, is having their annual "Logosween" events. Most are player organized and involve costumes, parties, contests and generally mischief making.
  • Ultima Online (Score:3, Informative)

    by necro2607 ( 771790 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @12:58PM (#10655165)
    Um, you managed to not mention probably the most groundbreaking (and probably the first) MMORPG on the net, Ultima Online, which always has plenty of fun in-game stuff around each holiday! Then again their site doesn't say a thing about Halloween, so I can see why it wasn't mentioned. I guess they're too busy promoting their totally off-topic new expansion...

    I've only played for about a year but for example, the first Christmas when I started they gave out some house decorations like snowflakes, snowmen, poinsettia and some holiday wreaths. They also had a contest for the best Christmas-decorated house and stuff.
    • Meridian 59 actually proceeded Ultima Online and before that you had Neverwinter Nights on America Online, and then of course before all of that you had MUDs.

      Not that Ultima Online isn't a great game and brought the online community up to a new level, but it was about as ground breaking as EQ.

    • There's Also The Realm Online, which was a little before UO I believe, and they just had their halloween event involving parade, games, and pumpkin patches.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm running a "get a life" compitition.

    It's very difficult, it requires you to take a shower, get dressed, turn off the computer (gasp!) and here's the real kicker: go OUTSIDE.

    I know I know, it's so difficult nobody will play.
  • Puzzle Pirates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by diagonti ( 456119 ) on Thursday October 28, 2004 @01:10PM (#10655299)
    Puzzle Pirates (, clients for mac/linux/win) has changed all the hat designs to have very spooky masks and changed all the map graphics to have appropriate themed island maps.
  • Also worth noting is that Guild Wars [] will be having their second "World Preview Event", with an early version of their game available for free download and play Oct. 29 - 31.
  • by immanis ( 557955 ) <immanis AT sfgoth DOT com> on Thursday October 28, 2004 @01:23PM (#10655456) Homepage Journal
    I'm just running some old time radio suspense shows, war of the worlds, and silence! the musical over the in-game radio station.
  • "Dungeon Majesty [] is a game where we take four ladies and play Dungeons and Dragons." The clips are kinda goofy, as are the photos.
  • Not to mention Gunbound [] is having a competition Oct 26th to the 30th. Find the Administrator in a room, answer up to 3 questions. get 1 right and get 10,000 gold. Get 2 right and get a nifty pumpkin avatar plust the gold. I have yet to see an admin, so tell me if anyone wins. :P
  • Started a day early in case anyone out there cares..
  • The normal "backpack" left behind when you frag a player has been changed to Jack-o-lantern's for the event, just like they gave us Santa hats on our characters last Christmas and turned the backpacks into present boxes....
  • Well, we don't know much about it yet.

    You can harvest pumpkins from a single pumpkin patch, carve them, and build jack o'lanterns with them, as well as scarecrows/skeletons on your plot.

    Jacques Allantyrn is supposed to make a reappearance (same one from beta) with something about a short-term portal to the Realm of Bounty, from whence the harvest supposedly comes. Oh, the moon is blood red with evil smilling skull visages in it.

    Also in the "Halloween" patch came a world-wide plague. Well, it wasn't SUPPO
  • I know it is not *as* popular as some of the others but Toontown Online [] is doing quite a few things for halloween with special house decorations, special outfits to buy, halloween decorations throughout the enviroments, and special Skelle-Cogs to fight! Very cool.
  • FFXI (Score:3, Informative)

    by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus caffeine> on Thursday October 28, 2004 @02:49PM (#10656333) Journal
    The Final Fantasy halloween fest actually caused a little stir because for the first day or so while people knew you had to give the mobs treats, no one knew cheap fruit could be used, so there was a huge runup on sweets on the auction houses and bazaars (I made over 100k in game on cheaply made in game candy alone and I didnt take the market like others where) People where pissed they where spending anywhere from 1 - 100k just to get a item since it was so random and 9 times out of 10 you turned into a monster.

    The items are what people are after, they actually grant warp to those people who dont have mage jobs, and depending on which one you get you can have anywhere from 1 to unlimited warps which when you go to these areas people like to party in can be a lifesaver. the big fear is that this might change afterward since they did leave a clause in the info saying that they had the right to change this at any time.

    It was also quite interesting to see people scream in game, since they wherent your run of the mill mobs they put in town but with some of them (like the Dark Stalkers) some of the toughest mobs in the game.

    Infact yesterday the GMs on almost all of the worlds decided to dress up and half of them dressed up as the Shadow Lord himself... scaring the crap out of a lot of people who turned off the names function

  • I remember last year I got a Tribes 2 Construction mod scare-a-thon going. The idea was to build creepy things and on haloween, show them off on hosted servers. Did't get too many buildings, but I did get plenty of visitors to my 3v1l maze.

    Still, I would've liked to see more trigger treators(to my house, not the server). Kinda sad people get afraid of nothing. Man, and I loved scaring the shit outta children. Now though, we're lucky to get 5 or 6 people come around, from like packed streets 5 years
  • If anybody is interested in blogging about their Halloween experiences please try []. I've just recently set it up so it's still pretty empty but I'm hoping to create a fun community of gamers. Just grab some screenshots and blog away!

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek