One of the neat things about MMOs are events. Things that happen every once in a while, or maybe yearly, that get people excited (well, at least at first) and eager to participate. World of Warcraft has a heap of yearly events that roughly correspond to holidays in the USA, for example. Star Trek Online had an event for the Winter Holidays, and an anniversary event. Star Wars: The Old Republic’s had a couple as well, and Champions Online wasn’t excepted. City of Heroes had a number of them before its closure.
So, events are interesting, and often fun. But sometimes, we get a dark side to them.
The two events that have been seen so far in TOR have been one-time events, and the plans are that they aren’t getting repeated. I’ve alluded to this before with my posts on the Rakghoul Plague and the Grand Acquisitions Race; it’s a shame that these rather short-term events had work put in and then were set aside. I honestly felt they could be yearly events with no loss in their “fun factor” so to speak. I’m still vaguely hopeful, but it’s iffy.
It may be that Bioware has learned from that. The update 1.7 features “The Return of the Gree”; players of the Republic side will recall possibly meeting representatives from the Gree Enclave on Coruscant-you know a character’s been through it if they’ve got the “Black Bisector” title with their names. Well, it seems that a recurring event will be coming with 1.7 at Ilum, a world that could use a bit more action to it; of course, the downside is that by being on Ilum, it’s probable that it’s a max-level sort of event. But the recurring nature means at least it won’t be a one and done sort of thing like the previous events in the game. How often such it’ll repeat is up in the air; still a mystery.
Bioware isn’t the only one pushing an event in the near future. In spite of the constant jabs at the “2-person development team” over in Champions Online, it seems that they’ve got their own event on deck. While the details are still sketchy, prevailing opinion is that it will feature a significant incursion by Lemurians. Alien attacks have been (mostly) ruled out due to a post put up setting up the situation: “They’re already here”. That’s not exactly pointing to alien invasion. On the other hand, that’s a statement with a lot of loopholes…. There was also a video floating around that sure looked like Lemurian tech, plus the free weekend gift last weekend of an Ancient Lemurian Helmet costume part certainly lends a great deal of weight to this.
The event is scheduled to reveal itself in two-week increments, moving things along. The thing is: a lot of people pointed out that this is similar to how the Nighthawk Event was handled. The reason this concerned people? After the event was over, it went away, with no indication that it would ever be seen again. However, again, it seems that developers have paid attention. Not only is this event not going to go away forever (although I would imagine there would be gaps of time without it, lest it become old), but the devs are hoping to retrofit old events, so that we may one day see the Nighthawk event come around again.
Lest I forget, next month should feature the third anniversary event for Star Trek Online. While little is known about the event itself, there are a couple of hint drops that have got people excited (see? Events DO that!): Denise Crosby will be doing some VO work related to it, two new ships will be available for free to participants (much like the baseline Odyssey and Bortas’ ships last year), and one of those new ships will be the Ambassador class starship. Put it together, and it just screams to be a callback to the Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise“. (Hm, and Sela’s status is…uncertain, after the events of the Romulan/Reman Feature Episode way back when….)
Unfortunately, this is one of those events that is likely to be a one-time only one; I doubt that the event with the commissioning of the Odyssey and Bortas’ will repeat, for example. This one, however, feels like it should be around for more than a one-shot deal; the gaining of the ship might be a one time thing (I would bet real money that better versions of the Ambassador and its Klingon equivalent will be either C-Store or lockbox bait), but the mission itself is probably worth keeping around somewhere, I would think. Let’s hope.
No matter how you look at it, events are coming for these games-so plan ahead accordingly!