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The Thank Tank: What are you most thankful for in the MMO genre?

Shawn Schuster

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA. so it's only natural that we ask a thanks-related question for this week's Think Tank. As much as we, as a fanbase, like to be critical of our favorite genre, it's important to take some time to be thankful for what it is to us.

So I asked the Massively team members what they're thankful for in MMOs. Grab a turkey leg dipped in cranberry sauce and stuffing (go ahead and double-dip; Uncle Leon won't mind) and follow along after the cut for our thoughts.

I'm thankful for the sheer variety of content out there. Not only are MMOs some of the most unique games out there, but they pull it off while allowing you to play with thousands of other people. I know, I know, it's not cool to be so positive about the genre, but the truth is that MMOs provide more free and variable content than any other type of game.
Cheesy but true: I'm thankful for my guildies who've stuck with me for almost as long as this genre has existed. I'm thankful for this ridiculous, frustrating, awesome job-that-should-not-be-a-thing-but-totally-is. I'm thankful for all the games I've played that are gone now but that showed me the deep potential of our industry. I'm thankful for all the new games that move design forward, inch by inch, so fast but so not fast enough.
What am I thankful for? Competent, friendly players. I'm thankful for the tank who notices the healer under fire. For the support player who sacrifices his own progress to buy something the team needs. For the men and women who sit in general chat and help newbies find their way. For the unsung heroes who remember to buff party members. For every player who's ever needed help with an encounter and then stuck around to make sure I completed it as well. I'm thankful for the odd family bonds that form between perfect strangers united in killing pixels, and for every incredible generous action that has arisen as a result.
I am most thankful for the many deep friendships this crazy pastime has brought into my life, both the ones that are confined to the world of pixels and the ones that have spilled into this one. My life has been made richer for the various connections I have made with others all over the globe. I am also very grateful for those vibrant virtual worlds that have allowed me to partake of and partake in some wonderful rides though others' imaginations; I can never get too much creativity, and player-generated-content in MMOs has provided plenty of it! And last but not least, who doesn't appreciate loving the job she does? I write (my first passion), play games (ya boy!), and talk to people all over the world -- it just doesn't get much better than that! Even better, my commute to work is only about two feet!
I'm thankful that MMOs provide a medium for me to regularly connect to my friends and family. In the years I played World of Warcraft, I would spend time with my brother and father four nights every week as we took on the likes of Ragnaros, Nefarion, and countless other evildoers. The memories of those nights together are priceless. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I'm most thankful for those life-long friends I've met in various MMOs. As much as playing with other people sometimes frustrates me, I have to remind myself that I get great joy from sitting on Mumble with my guild and just throwing inappropriate jokes back and forth for a few hours while sometimes actually getting things done in an MMO. These are people who have met my wife and children, eaten dinner at my house, and even named one of my dogs.

What do you get when you throw the Massively writers' opinions together in one big pot to stew? You get The Think Tank, a column dedicated to ruminating on the MMO genre. We range from hardcore PvPers to sandbox lovers to the carest of the carebears, so expect some disagreement! Join Senior Editor Shawn Schuster and the team for a new edition right here every other Thursday.

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