Wilhelm of The Ancient Gaming Noob put up a post yesterday in which he talks about feeling a certain amount of ennui with WoW's holiday events. I haven't even played WoW in one and a half years and I can still relate, because I was already getting kind of tired of these same events before I quit the game. I've said before that I'm a big fan of the occasional one-time event that everyone can gorge themselves on and then go back to normal while retaining fond memories of the whole thing... instead of, you know, having it come back over and over again and leaving you with an increasing feeling of disillusionment. (I have to admit that I'm already getting a little bit of that with the Gree event and Bounty Contract Week, but at least those are easy to ignore if you don't care to participate.)
Plus, with things like Halloween and Christmas, among others, there is also the fact that it's very jarring to have these things inserted into our fantasy worlds. No, I don't care what your excuse is for why Azeroth, Tyria or wherever just happen to celebrate all the same holidays as the US, it's not convincing. I'm not a big fan of them in real life, why do they have to haunt even my attempts at escapism?
So one thing I like about Star Wars: The Old Republic is that the devs don't have an excuse to insert real life holidays into the game willy-nilly. Not that this stops them from trying, mind you. Last year they stooped so low as to dig up Life Day from the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, just to have an excuse to sell vaguely Christmas-themed items in the cash shop. Was that Celebrator speeder the cheesiest thing ever or what? (Though I do love the Tinsel Bomb simply for giving me something else to throw at people during raid breaks all year round.) And that was when the Cartel Market was still in its infancy so to speak. I fully expect a much bigger cash-in this year.
What I didn't expect was for Halloween to have any influence. I'm not aware of any sort of similar festival existing in the expanded universe (though feel free to educate me on that front), and it just doesn't really... fit with the universe. For example, ghosts officially exist, but they aren't exactly scary in the conventional sense. So imagine my surprise when this showed up on the Cartel Market yesterday:
The "TRK-R Treatment Chamber" is basically a Sith meditation chamber recoloured to look like a grinning pumpkin when it's closed. Why? Who knows! It's just a random Cartel Market item; it doesn't need an explanation. I would be kind of annoyed if I wasn't seriously impressed with the creativity of whoever came up with that particular idea. I just hope that it's not an indicator of more forced random holiday insertions yet to come.