And yes, we are still playing games -- that's how we cope with grief, don't you know. (It's also how we cope with boredom. We're a touch one-note at times.) So read on past the cut to see what we'll be up to this weekend, and also our memories of working with Sera over the past several years. And you can feel free to let us know what you'll be playing in the comments, or just leave your own recollections.
Beau Hindman (@Beau_Hindman): I will be playing through many Halloween quests in many games, all while discovering probably three or four new ones. For example, I thought I had played Priston Tale 2 before -- but I had no idea it looked so good. I'm enjoying poking around in that. It feels very epic, but I wonder how it will stand up. Other than that, handing out candy on Halloween will keep us busy. Too bad we already ate a lot of it. I knew we shouldn't have bought it a week early.
Brendan Drain (@nyphur): Sera has been more than just a work colleague over these past two and a half years. She's helped me with some personal issues, including an ongoing struggle with depression and poor self-esteem. Her column has always been a firm favourite of mine, and she made a damn good editor. The Massively team will be severely diminished by her absence, and I'll miss her a great deal.
Brianna Royce (@nbrianna): I'll be happy to be home this weekend! After I'm unpacked and caught up on work, I hope to dive into all the games I've neglected over the last week and check out some Halloween events, especially CoH's. Maybe SWG's too. Last year this time I was playing lots of Torchlight, which really set the Halloween mood!
Before I was hired at Massively, Sera was the only writer I knew by name, probably because I disagreed with Anti-Aliased more than once! Now that I've had the fortune of working alongside her this last half year, I can attest to her enthusiasm and earnest team spirit, not to mention the courage she has to face down legions of haters. If people identify Massively with Sera, it's for good reason. She's leaving behind some mighty big shoes to fill. I hope we can make her as proud as she'll make us.
Eliot Lefebvre: This weekend will be spent on some mixture of Final Fantasy XIV, City of Heroes, and Civilization V. The last will likely get the smallest portion of my time, because hey, the first two eat a lot of energy.
Sera was one of the first people to welcome me to Massively when I started working here a year ago, and through that time she's been a constant presence among the staff. We've disagreed about some game issues, agreed about others, and through it all I've been glad to work alongside her and share from her expertise. We can all only hope to be as iconic as Sera has been for the site, and I'm going to miss her presence.
Greg Waller: More WAR for me this weekend, although I'm seriously considering grabbing Star Wars: Force Unleashed 2 or Fallout: New Vegas. I can't decide. Although the actual amount of gaming I do will be decided by how much celebrating I do. My birthday was Wednesday, but we're celebrating this weekend. So many games, so little time... Ho hum.
Sera, your columns and posts were always inspiring and hooked me onto Massively in the first place. I'm sad to see you go, and I'm happy for you and your success at the same time. May your future stay bright and all your loots be shiny! Good luck!
Jef Reahard: I'll be burninating the countryside with my new AoC Demonologist and dabbling in a bit of WoW and Fallout: New Vegas. I'm also still firmly in Global Agenda's grip, so there will be some sci-fi fragging going on at some point.
Sera was responsible for my first "hands-on" experience with Massively. As a decidedly wet-behind-the-ears post newblet, I had no idea what to expect when I first dipped a toe into the team chat room late one night last spring. I received an immediate baptism in the fires of our content management system, as well as a practiced eye on my first few stories. I think there was a "get me a coffee probie" thrown in there somewhere as well, lol. Point being, Sera was always professional and personable and will be missed.
Jeremy Stratton (@Jeremy_Stratton): Lots of reading and writing for college. I'm sticking to Runes of Magic, but I'll try to get some Vanguard: Saga of Heroes in on the side (it's stolen my heart).
When I first started reading Massively, I immediately zeroed in on Sera's posts. I loved them. Every time I wrote on my own blog, I kept wishing I could write as well as she. It was an honor to get to work with her, and I hope we always stay in touch with each other. She's a person who can make things happen for herself, and she has the talent to go with her ambition. I wish her all the best, and I know she's on to bigger and better things for her life and career.
Justin Olivetti (@Sypster): I'll never forget the day that changed my life, the day I met Sera. I was but a slave, captured by the Imperial Navy and slated for execution. My executioner -- an Imperial Captain named Han Sera -- took pity on me and refused to carry out the order. When Sera was booted from the service, I swore a life debt to follow, protect and occasionally growl at things. Sure, we may end up in more garbage compactors and Ewok villages than I'd like, but I'd never trade all the adventures we had for anything. /toast
Krystalle Voecks (@Krystalle): I'm back to flying the unfriendly skies of EVE Online, which I've missed. Since I've joined a new corp with several friends, I'm doing the warp-to-zero tango as I move my stuff nearer to where everybody else is centered. Beyond that, I'm planning to do a bit of planetary interaction over the weekend, which should be fun.
I've had the great fortune of watching Sera from her earliest days at Massively. In that time, she's grown from a solid writer into a solid boss -- and a close friend. She has an equally golden touch with co-workers and words. I cannot express adequately how keenly I'm going to miss seeing her in the virtual Massively office every day, but I've still got her in IMs, and fully intend to pester her regularly. Love you, Sera! <3
Larry Everett (@Shaddoe): The Force Unleashed II came out this week. I played this at PAX, and I found it to be a bit better mechanics-wise than The Force Unleashed. This weekend I would like to try to play it for the story. My expectation is pretty low.
Lisa Poisso (@emused): Catching up on sleep after BlizzCon. Whew.
Sera makes things easy. Let me rephrase that: Sera makes even tough things easy. She can write, she can edit, she can tie it up with a bow on top. The player community that gets her pulling for it is a community of lucky players, indeed.
MJ Guthrie: This is my last weekend to poke my head into EQII and Vanguard (alas poor Station Pass, I knew thee well), and I want to sling some more arrows of outrageous fortune with my ranger in AoC. Mostly, I will be reveling in the Halloween spirit (Best. Holiday. Evah.) and finally immersing myself in the lower-level solo instance in Aion. Oh, and hunting a few Sugarcrooks, while in a pumpkin-head mask.
Sera -- I will always appreciate the warmth with which you welcomed me that first time I timidly peeked into chat. You made me feel at ease and patiently answered any questions I had. Then you promptly picked on me just to make me feel a true part of the group! I have loved your sense of humor and often popped-in when you were around just to watch the interesting banter. Your absence will leave a huge vacuum, the kind that just can't be filled; I truly cannot even imagine a Massively without you. Good luck, best wishes, and you will be missed. -salute-
Patrick Mackey: MMO-wise, I'm jamming around in World of Tanks as I endure the long crawl to get out of T4. Other than that, I've been following the GSL and playing a little StarCraft II. I haven't planned much for Halloween; I'll probably just hang out with friends or something.
When I was a posting nublet, Sera was the first to make me feel really at home here. Although I really enjoy the company of everyone here at Massively, I feel a certain kinship for Sera that will definitely be missed. I wish her the best of luck, and I want her to know that we'll always think of her as family.
Rubi Bayer (@Rubi_): All of my MMO time this weekend will be devoted to two things: the Guild Wars and Dungeons and Dragons Online Halloween events. Gotta collect those motes and Trick or Treat bags! I love special events in games, and these two are fantastic.
Sera, you have made Massively so much fun for me over the past year. You kept me laughing and even taught me a few things along the way. ;-) I am really going to miss seeing you in the chatroom, but I couldn't be more excited for you. You totally deserve this, and you're going to be great at it. Knock 'em dead, and I'll see you at PAX East.
Ryan Greene (@ThatGayNerd): Once again, I don't see a whole lot of weekend gaming time in the cards. I'm heading down to D.C. for the Rally to Restore Sanity, so I'll be fairly busy. I will have Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light to keep me company, at least.
Shawn Schuster (@SSchuster): This weekend I hope to get some time in with Fallout: New Vegas, Fable III, and Fallen Earth. I also hope to finally dig my way out of a particularly tricky cavern maze in Minecraft. I miss daylight... and my stash of diamonds!
Sera was hired not too long after I was, so we experienced many of the same stages of Massively together. When I took over as Editor-in-Chief, there was no doubt in my mind that Sera would be my Senior Editor. She's been my partner-in-crime at several conventions over the years, and everyone she meets has nothing but positive things to say about her. She'll be missed, but I can't think of someone more perfect for a community manager gig at a company like Turbine. Make us proud, Sera!
At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!