The Daily Grind: What holidays don’t make sense for MMOs?

    
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For me? Or someone.

I’ve seen a lot of Valentione’s Day celebrations in Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV, but I’m going to be honest, I don’t think that Valentine’s Day is really a good holiday for an MMO. It’s not just because I don’t much care for the holiday in real life (and neither does my wife), it’s that it just doesn’t translate well. It feels like trying to drag the real world into a game in a way that a lot of other holidays don’t.

There are, of course, holidays that translate perfectly into MMOs. Halloween is pretty much perfect, especially in games like Guild Wars 2 that go out of their way to make the holiday fit in the game lore; Christmas, too, is more or less a shoo-in. But there are always holidays that feel tenuous in their own way. Valentine’s Day is one of them, and I’ve never cared for games that try to include Easter. I probably would feel much the same about a game bringing in, say, Flag Day or President’s Day.

But that may just be me; I’m sure there’s someone out there waiting for The Secret World to take on Flag Day. So what do you think, readers? What holidays don’t make sense for MMOs? And on the same topic, are there some holidays that don’t show up nearly often enough?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Vexia

I don’t understand how Valentine’s Day and Easter don’t translate well to MMOs whereas Halloween and Christmas somehow do? From my perspective, they’re all just window dressing used as a premise to add new mini games, storylines, prizes etc. to a game. I do like how light-covered fir trees, pink hearts, eggs, or pumpkins everywhere add to the atmosphere of the game, though. Each holiday feels like a special occasion that way.
Also, since cultures the world over have holidays that can be broadly described as “spring fertility festival,” “harvest festival,” “summer solstice festival,” “winter solstice festival,” and so on, it makes sense that MMO worlds would have something similar of their own. True, that doesn’t mean they have to continually rip customs directly from the same small, typically western set of holidays each and every time.

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NeoWolf

Seems a bit like a rhetorical question to me lol

ANY holiday that is based on our real world holidays and not on a holiday based in a games own lore by definition makes no sense. Because all our holidays originate from our own culture and history.

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rafael12104

Hmm. It depends on the setting of the MMO, I suppose. Holidays in general are a take it or leave deal for me. I don’t mind them, but I don’t need them.

I remember not too long ago playing SWTOR and a cascade of complaints because SWTOR didn’t celebrate Halloween. Halloween? LOL. Everyday is Halloween if you spend your time pretending to be a force user running around the galaxy.

So, meh. Let the players eat cake, I say. Just don’t force me to participate in some nonsense because it is a holiday.

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Michael Rees

Perhaps if we used the Gall-Peters Projection world map (great West Wing episode featured it), we might have the events at least presented where they make more sense seasonally. Every player south of the equator is subjected to all the “Winter” events when it’s well…Summer. But we realise by now there’s no chance of that ever happening, so we live with it. :p

Gall–Peters_projection_SW.jpg
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Karl Hungus

For me, it’s all the stupid holidays that started out as pagan holidays but were hijacked by Christians to make the conversion of Europe an easier affair, with Christmas, Easter, and Halloween being among the bigger ones. What’s even more disgusting is what “civilization” has done with these holidays since, turning them into propagandized events to sustain the culture of consumerism. This has bled over into online games as well because in the end, they too are a business so it is smart of them to try and capitalize on the latest mass advertisement trend.

But as a Germanic pagan, I find the whole thing disgusting, seeing “Christmas” trees in games set in fantasy worlds where Christianity doesn’t exist. It’s ironic too because if Christians were to actually read the Bible, they’d know that in Jeremiah 10:1-5, it says they should not be adopting the ways of gentiles like the pagans, chopping down trees and “decking it in silver and gold”. So even if I was a Christian, I’d have a problem with it.

Then there’s the fact that I play these games so I can exist in a world far removed from what monotheism has done to my ancestral heritage, but there’s no escaping it. There’s no “safe space”. And now the holidays are far removed from even their false Judaeo-Christian narrative. Money is the new God. It was disgusting enough watching Christians celebrate pagan holidays and traditions with an audacity perpetuated by their ignorance, but now it’s all about godless consumerism, which is much worse. Jesus has been replaced by Mammon.

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imayb1

As a fellow heathen, I agree. Very few Chrisitans know the history of their own religion. According to Pew Research, athesists/agnostics tend to know more about religion than other groups.

I find it far more entertaining when a game comes up with its own celebration and invents its own crazy game-traditions. Really, I’d rather have Towel Day than Easter. :)

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Karl Hungus

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Oleg Chebeneev

Austronauts day in fantasy MMO

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niwaar

Valentine’s Day really is hit or miss as an MMO holiday. In a game like WoW it is simply another opportunity to theme a fight and some quests (and a collection grind) to a known commodity like Valentines. For a game like FFXIV it is an opportunity to tap into the game’s community a bit. Marriage is a thing in the game, so a holiday about love and coupling is a wonderful addition in my mind.

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Damon

Funny how a world with nothing at all to do with earth celebrating Christmas gets the old pass on ” immersion”

Unless the game is based on earth like TSW, I’d rather they come up with their own holidays and fit them into the games lore. Wow for example has always made this attempt.

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Bryan Correll

SWTOR really stretches it with the “Life Day” celebration. Lore-wise it’s specifically a Wookie holiday, but it’s celebrated even on Dromund Kaas where the only Wookies present would probably be slaves.

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niwaar

Actually, most MMOs do not necessarily have “Christmas”. For sure it is at Christmas time and it often has all the trappings of Christmas, but its not. For example, FFXIV’s Starlight Celebration started as a charitable event where the Nobles gave back to the Orphan Children of the Dragonsong war. There is lore for the reason why they have a Christmas like event in the good mmos. The bads of course just dump the holiday in without all that work writing lore about it.

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Space Captain Zor

Unrelated to anything but I’ve been getting 502 gateway errors all morning from Cloudflare trying to access pages here.

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Jack Pipsam

Same as well.

Although it seems they’re aware of the issue and fixing it. https://twitter.com/MassivelyOP/status/827176082264748032

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Should be back to normal now!

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Crow

Seems back to proper for me. A++ would comment again.

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Cray Wulf

Well I agree Guild Wars does Halloween fairly well. I’m not keen on religious holidays like Christmas being part of fantasy MMOs. But I completely understand it from a marketing stand point.