Massively Overthinking: Gratitude for the people of the MMORPG genre
It's Thanksgiving here in the US, and we wish you all a happy one, whether you're celebrating locally or not. For this week's Massively Overthinking and in honor of the season, I asked our team about the people within the MMORPG industry they're thankful for. Mentors, guildies, artists, designers, visionaries? QA testers, community managers, commenters, donors, those wacky folks who Kickstart our dreams? Let's talk about our favorite people and why we're glad they're making the genre a better place to play.
Andrew Ross (@dengarsw): Within the industry, I'm going to start with calculated risk takers. Not the random guys that ask for our Kickstarter money who haven't got a hope of finishing their product, nor the producers who completely change their product because suddenly, a new game mechanic is popular and their game needs it. I mean the folks who listen to fans, see holes in the market, and try to fill them. AAA games are great because, like pop culture, they're accessible to everyone, but the indie folks, the seasoned vets with pull and huge... um, dice rolls, checking data, genre history, the market, the big picture? Those guys and gals who stay plugged into the community and react to it? You guys. Thank you.
I also want to thank friends, online and off, inside and outside the industry. Coming back to the States has been rough for me. If not for the support of family, friends, and some awesome people here at MOP, I'm sure I'd be having quite a bad time. Thanks for coming around here guys!
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna, blog): I'm gonna mention four people, or sets of people, and no one can stop me! First, our community. Sappy, sure, but you folks who push money our way, literally keep us in business -- who report comments, who post thoughtful discussion -- who motivate us to keep going, even when we're frustrated with the games and the people in them? You. I like you.
Second, my team. Look down our roster sometime and notice how the names haven't changed much over the years -- how loyal these people are, these folks who would do more work for even less money just to stay indie and ethical. I don't say it enough, those days when we're hip-deep in breaking news and bulging newsrooms, but they are amazing.
Third, my guildies. They keep me grounded and never let the meta of this site and the genre get the better of me. They are still the real reason I play.
And finally, I want to mention some devs. I would not be doing any of this without the existence of Raph Koster and his wife, whose early MMORPGs basically sucked me into the genre and kept me here even once it began to become something unrecognizable. And then: a salute to people like Mark Jacobs and Eric Heimburg and Judy Tyrer and Richard Garriott, who prove on a daily basis that there's still a passion here worth fighting for.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster, blog): I am thankful for the community managers who do a job that I could not and would not do -- and are often far more graceful and patient than could be expected from abusive players. I am thankful for warm and welcoming guilds, a few of which I have the privilege of being a part, and how they make me feel connected and excited to log in every day. I am thankful for passionate devs who aren't just punching a clock but are crafting worlds and preparing adventures for us to explore. I am thankful for players who sometimes extend unexpected mercy or generosity to others or to me.
And of course, I am most thankful for the team here at Massively OP and the readers that keep us going. It's a lot of hard work but there are very little complaints, because we all share a mutual excitement for these games and communities. Every day that this site runs is a gift that I don't take for granted the way I did with old Massively.
MJ Guthrie (@MJ_Guthrie, blog): Honestly, the people I am most thankful for are those who show such passion for their game when they talk about it that they almost trip over their own words trying to share it with you. I totally appreciate this level of genuine enthusiasm, and it is infectious! These are the folks that get me totally psyched to try out their games even if it is a genre I wouldn't have normally play. And I have found I have really enjoyed some of these experiences. People who have a passion for what they do also give me security about the game. I feel like it is in good hands because there will always be ups and downs, but someone who loves the game will stick with it and work on making it better.
I am also very grateful for those in the industry who stay connected to the players, regardless of their position. Of course some positions have to interact with the community in some regards, but there are devs who go above and beyond that. They engage people, talking with them instead of just talking at them. They listen. They don't always agree, but the show respect for player concerns and ideas. The are the folks that make a community feel valued. I tell you, this is gold!
Patron Archebius: My favorite people, in any game, are those who take the time and effort to cultivate a good community. Whether you're willing to walk a noob through the first couple hours of a new MMO, or speak out in defense of a player who's getting death threats for not wearing the right boots, you're making the game a better place. It's simple, it's easy, but too often we stand by and let the community become toxic bit by bit. It's exhausting to fight against the negativity. It's time consuming to help people learn the ropes.
But I want you to know that I'm thankful for you. You are the bedrock of any game. You are the ones that will keep people coming back. You are the ones that make good memories happen.
So thank you.