Whether you play EverQuest or World of Warcraft or City of Heroes or Lord of the Rings Online, or any other MMOG, one of the most highly anticipated times of the year is the holiday season. Why? Because every year the people we love to hate through the other eleven months of the year (i.e. the developers) bring us holiday events that bring a festive flavor to the virtual worlds that we spend so much time in.
Being predominantly a World of Warcraft player, I got a fair bit of enjoyment out of this year's holiday offerings. Admittedly I didn't do the quests (I did most of them last year), but I did do my fair amount of kissing in the inns to get my holiday goodies which ranged from snowballs I could whip at gold spammers, to holly that would transform my dwarf's ram (or his gryphon) into a reindeer. I also really enjoyed the festive recipes that came in our mailboxes at the beginning of this year's event and made a lot of Hot Apple Cider that I shared with guildmates.
Sometimes though, the holiday spirit hits you between the eyes from an angle you don't expect it. Sometimes in the midst of chaos, bad manners and spam you find a single person or a group of people who are doing their best to exude a real spirit of generosity and kindness to those around them in-game.
Over in Bree (in LoTRO) a guild by the name of The Order Of The Silver Hand had their own Santa event, and handed out gifts to players who stood in a single-file line on their server for over four hours! Everybody got at least three gifts according to Hjalmar who acted as Santa for the event.
Closer to home I was walking through Ironforge a couple of days before Christmas on the Gnomeregan server (in World of Warcraft) when I heard a familiar voice. It was the voice of one of my guildmates, Nellisia. She was calling out to anyone and everyone within the sound of her voice to come to the steps behind the Christmas tree in Ironforge and pick up gift-wrapped presents from her and her sister! Folks, this wasn't a guild event. I didn't even know it was going on. This was just a few girls who went out and farmed/bought tons of stuff, and handed out gifts to everybody who asked. I'm even told there was some gold handed out too! I don't know about the rest of my guild, but I'm mighty proud to have this young lady in our guild family who put such a positive face on our guild on her own time, on her own dime, with no need for recognition. Way to go, Nellisia!
To The Order Of The Silver Hand, and to Nelissia and her sister... I salute you! What other selfless demonstrations of the holiday spirit did you see in your game this season?