7 days around the MMO world / February 14

Let us first start off by giving all the gamer couples, couples comprised of half gamer and all the rest who might be reading this MMO update, Happy Valentines Day! If you’re celebrating this hallmark holiday we wish much love from wherever you may be visiting us from. Now that we have all that sappy pink and candy laced v-day crap behind us, let us jump into the reason you’re actually here.

In one of our previous MMO updates we mentioned that Cryptic was working on what they’re calling an “expansion” for Champions Online. We also mentioned that it seemed more like a standard content update than it did a full expansion and that they were looking to charge players to gain access to this new content. Well it looks like the community uproar has caught the attention of Cryptic and now the update will be 100% free.

The content update has been titled Revelations and is due out sometime mid-March. The contents haven’t changed so players can expect new zones, new powers, new rewards and bigger challenges.

Sticking with the superhero theme, it looks like Cryptic’s old game City of Heroes has an update of its own coming our way. The Issue 17 update for City of Heroes will open up some of the features coming in the full expansion Going Rogue a bit early. Players will be able to get access to Ultra Mode — which is a significant graphical overhaul of the whole game — and the new powersets prior to the expansions release through Issue 17.

The Issue 17 update also makes a significant change to the Epic Archetypes system by lowering the level requirement down from level 50 all the way to 20. They’re also adding in new emotes — who doesn’t love those — additions and improvements to the Mission Archetypes, UI enhancements and as they say, more. Ultra Mode is worth the price of admission alone which is fortunately nothing. The graphical updates are a very welcome change to the aging look of City of Heroes and we’re sure the fans agree.

Just like Guild Wars and World of Warcraft before it, Aion has jumped on the micro-transaction bandwagon for account services. Much like the other two games mentioned, players of Aion will now be able to drop some real life coin on thing such as: name changing, character appearance, legion name changing and gender reassignment. However unlike World of Warcraft there doesn’t appear to be services for server transfer nor faction changing.

We’re not sure how to feel about this slow shift towards charging people for services such as this. If you look through the eyes of a developer it’s a great way to control abuse of the services — problematic players constantly changing names — and a great way to make some extra money to continue and further development of the game. On the other hand, when does it become nickle and dimeing your already-paying customers — in the case of Aion and WoW — to death?

In other MMO news: