MMOs Gear Up for Halloween Fun

Many massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) celebrate the holidays with live events, and this year is no different. City of Heroes, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, World of Warcraft, and Warhammer Online have all launched, or are about to launch, events. Most of them will conclude in early November.

In City of Heroes, legions of zombies, werewolves, and jack-o-lanterns have attacked both Paragon City, home of superheroes, and the Rogue Isles, where supervillains live. The creatures may be familiar to long-time players, but this year they've teamed up with Eidolons, Shivans, and other aliens bent on bringing down heroes and villains alike.

Pirates of the Caribbean Online has seen Jolly Roger initiate an assault on Port Royal as part of his push to control all of the Caribbean. Players must join together and help the townspeople defeat his legions of undead sailors. No end date was given for the event. Last year, the game celebrated Halloween with a one-day event in which the online world experienced a permanent night and any pirates who didn't take cover became cursed, so it's possible the developers may do something similar this year.

World of Warcraft's Halloween event is a traditional one meant to commemorate the time when the Forsaken broke away from the Scourge. Now through Nov. 1, players can visit innkeepers to receive special treat bags that could contain goodies or tricks, purchase sweets from vendors in Orgrimmar and Ironforge, bring gifts to orphans too sick to travel, and participate in the Wickerman Festival, during which Horde members throw stink bombs at the Alliance town of Southshore -- Alliance players must stop the attacks or get stuck cleaning up the mess. Blizzard also promises a variety of Halloween-themed quests.

Finally, Warhammer Online, which is available now as a Beta download for Mac and will ship in final form next week, will on Friday initiate Daemon Moon Rising, during which "malevolent creatures borne out of the fabric of Chaos itself descend upon the world like daemon locusts," according to the web site. Players will get to participate in a variety of quests and scenarios offering unique rewards.