Perfect Ten: How to show and share gratitude for your favorite MMO

How do you make an MMO community shine? Be the light.

    
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What can I say except ''you're welcome''

So you’ve found an MMO you like. You’re thankful that it exists. It’s fun, it caters to your personal tastes, and it may not be perfect, but at the end of the day everyone has to pick a place that’s home and you’ve found one. And that’s great. I’ve written multiple times about being thankful for things in games, and that’s something to be thankful for right there, even if you prefer to think that you’re not so much in the right game as in the right now game.

Here’s a question, though: How do you show your thanks?

I’m not talking about supporting the game’s developers financially, since that’s presumably happening anyway (and frankly, that’s kind of a back-and-forth relationship anyhow). How do you show your thanks for the game in a way that makes stuff better? It just so happens that I’ve got some suggestions about that. Ten of them, even. Funny old world, ain’t it?

Cid this one out.

1. Help a new player

There is an unwritten rule in the Final Fantasy XIV community: protect sprouts. New players get a little sprout icon, and the majority of the community gets very protective around these new players just because new players are the beating heart of every game. They’re the new explorers, people just on the cusp of getting into your favorite game.

So help them out. Explain tactics. Offer to help them with runs. Offer to show them good places to go. In fact, why not go the extra mile here and…

2. Craft starter stuff

MMOs with a stable population often wind up with a lot of people at the level cap who have no need of anything related to leveling. This makes it a bit harder to get started, especially if you’re a new player looking at the auction house for gear and seeing nothing but high-level things to equip in some insane number of levels.

Forget that. Craft the cheap starter stuff and put it up for sale for level 5 players, and price it cheap and affordable. This isn’t about making money; it’s about making sure that these players have stuff to use! Spread the love around.

Have a free sword! Wait.

3. Give things away

If you’ve been playing a game long enough, it’s entirely possible that you have what I refer to as “stupid wealth.” This is the state in which you are not only rich in materials and money, but you are rich in a way you will never be able to realistically use. You have rare materials, cosmetic rewards, and the like. These things are in your inventory, but you will absolutely never need them and you have more than you could ever use.

So give them away.

Find new players and give them currency for no reason. Ask if anyone needs certain crafting resources and just hand them over. Even dropping things in a guild bank when you aren’t required to can be helpful. Don’t hoard things; let others have access to them.

4. Help community events

Maybe you don’t have tons of materials or just don’t want to give in-game items away. That’s fine, because there’s something else you can give away: time. You are no doubt aware of the cool events that your community puts on, and most of those are usually organized by volunteers who want to make things neat for everyone.

So be one of those volunteers. Heck, if there’s a neat event you want to see that isn’t being held? Kick it off. Give players a place to congregate and gather. Maybe it’s a roleplaying event, maybe it’s just an absurd fun run. Help your community do fun stuff.

Have you heard?!

5. Spread awareness (appropriately)

Showing up in a thread about Guild Wars 2 to talk about how great The Elder Scrolls Online is and how everyone who plays GW2 is a stupid baby fart? That is not helpful. What is helpful is recommending the game to your friends and people asking for suggestions, and so forth. Make posts about the game in social media and on communities. Keep things active, you know?

6. Boost community outreach

This is kind of an extension of helping community events and possibly creating new ones, but it extends in a wider sense. If your game has some kind of charity thing? Spread awareness of it. Support it. But even beyond that, you should be sharing the stories of the way that the game and its community has helped you and welcomed you, and helping others to feel welcomed into the game as well.

Community outreach is complex, and it can often be time-intensive to help people feel pulled into a game and encouraged. But it’s a good way to make the game about more than just, well, the game. Life doesn’t stop at the loot drop.

Bless this hot mess.

7. Write guides

You might not have a whole lot of money in-game or a whole lot of time to spend organizing events. But can you share your knowledge? Because sometimes that’s even more valuable. Sometimes someone knows that people like this game and find interesting stuff in the early levels, but the idea of how to get past a certain point is just… unapproachable. The build mechanics aren’t clearly explained, how to gear up is unclear, and so forth.

Guides are sometimes derided as unnecessary, and sometimes MMO concepts seem to be so self-explanatory that no one could need assistance understanding things. But then, just because it’s self-explanatory to you doesn’t mean that it’s self-explanatory to everyone else. So give it a shot.

8. Share positive memes

Look, one of the things I love about the FFXIV community is that it doesn’t start and stop with the game; it includes jokes about things like daddy tier lists or communal chants of “la-HEE” and “SCREE” with the most recent expansion. And that’s fun, and silly, and a bonding experience. Creating and sharing these memes itself helps with the game.

Mean-spirited memes can often make a game seem more elitist, less welcoming, less fun to play. But the fun stuff that celebrates your game’s weird aspects? That’s gold. Sure, it might be silly fluff… but silly fluff is endearing.

I am very amusing.

9. Write reviews

Why does your favorite game only have a smattering of reviews on Steam? Because no one else wrote any. Reviews and review-bombing are real things, and sometimes people just haven’t given a game its due. You have a voice, though, and you have the ability to share what you know about a game, give people an idea of what to expect, and put the lie to anything that you think is an unfair portrayal of the game.

I mean, really, if you’ve got several hundred hours played, taking a second to check that you want to offer a positive review and writing “this is a good game” isn’t so much to ask, right?

10. Be friendly

Maybe you don’t have the time and energy for all of this stuff. Heck, maybe you’re just plain bad at it. Maybe you don’t understand game mechanics to write guides, you spend resources badly in your game of choice, no one needs your reviews of a particular game, and so forth. So what can you do?

You can smile.

Because ultimately, that’s going to have the biggest long-term impact in any game. You want people to think when they log into the game that they’ll meet other new people, and how you act helps shape expectations for each new encounter. So being friendly helps people see that while the game can get spirited, while there is always competition and the potential for disagreement, at the end of the day it’s a shared space of friendly folks and new strangers are potential new allies.

Unless it’s an open PvP game. Then you should cut that bitch and scream “Law of the jungle!” as you loot the corpse.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”

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smuggler-in-a-yt

Fantastic article. Definitely need more ❤ in our games.

Demon of Razgriz
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Demon of Razgriz

I think helping out to build a better in game community is the best way to show appreciation to a game. Too many times I’ve been in groups and had newbies ask questions and some super ultra elitist tried to make them seem like they should give up. As a veteran player, I think you’re responsible for making sure that those coming in feel not only welcome but understand the nuances of gameplay. From build and tactical advice to helping me out on a mission or two, I’ve always tried to repay that forward. In CoX, from giving out low level invention enhancements to simple “let me lower my level and help you run this arc and answer any questions you have”, I pay homage not only to exploring the work that devs put in to encourage teamwork, but also to make sure that people feel safe while playing.

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Utakata

For us non-social socialist butterflies…

1) Use the premium option. Gives the game you enjoy a steady income.

2) Try to explore the world on your own to appreciate the detail and love that has gone into a game where others may have missed.

3) In conjunction with 2, take screens where ever you can and post it here on One Shots.

4) And tell a little bit of what your doing with the gameplay here on the WRUP.

5) Never be afraid to be critical. Ultimately it is the hope that the game you play will change for the better for every one. As well as preventing it from derailing itself in the meantime.

6) Always try to be nice and courteous whenever you can.

7) /Report jerks when you can’t.

8) Don’t make ass of yourself when playing.

9) Avoid chats that attract trolls.

…I think that’s it for now. <3

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

I read the title and thought, “Psh. This one is easy.”, and started working up my ego to cite a list of virtues.

Then I read the article, and Eliot laid it out perfectly.