... for "totally Christmas, we're just calling it something else" holiday events in MMOs, and this is one holiday that even Star Wars can't escape from, thanks to Life Day, introduced by the Star Wars Holiday Special. This year's Cartel Market offering saw the official release of the red-nosed tauntaun that was already data-mined a year ago - or it might even have been two? I remember thinking what a decidedly silly mount that was the first time I saw it... of course I bought it, why do you ask? (Fortunately they also fixed the strange bug that caused my character to lose her head while riding a bipedal mount.)
In terms of in-game activities there's nothing new to do, though the time-honoured tradition of snowball-throwing for gifts has received a new incentive since a successful gift proc also awards Command XP for max-level characters, encouraging people to throw snowballs purely for that. It's not something I would want to do for hours on end, but it's a fun little source of entertainment between warzone pops.
This time of year is also when SWTOR celebrates its birthday, though that will be the subject of a post of its own. I just thought I'd mention that they actually gifted their long-time subscribers a special stronghold decoration this time. From what I've heard from guildies they've also been decent and gave a bit of leeway to those whose subs may have lapsed briefly at some point due to a credit card expiration or something similar, which is nice. It's just a shame that you can only unlock it once, especially since they sent a copy to every single one of my alts.
But the biggest gift from my point of view has been the news that Bioware is already backpedalling on Galactic Command by bringing back gear drops from operations and vendors for PvPers in January, if in a slightly different format. I'm almost embarrassed to say what a relief it has been to hear that. I'm just hesitant to praise them too much, because everyone has been telling them that the system as it is right now was a bad idea from the moment it was announced. Granted, there are always people complaining about every change they make, so I appreciate that it might be hard to filter the useful feedback from the noise, but still...
I do wonder what made them change course so quickly now, especially as the outlined changes will only serve to appease raiders and PvPers - players sticking to solo and smaller group content will still be subject to the Galactic Command gear lottery. These days everyone seems to like disparaging raiders and PvPers as loud minorities that contribute nothing to the bottom line, but this suggests that what Bioware saw happening to these player populations in particular since 5.0 was enough to cause serious concern after all.
Either way, I'll take it, play my alts with a clear conscience from now on and fret less about those Galactic Command ranks on my main. Merry Christmas to you too, Bioware.