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Happy ThanksGaming Day From MMORPG.COM!

Steven Weber Updated: Posted:
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Happy ThanksGaming Day From MMORPG.COM!

This past year, a lot has changed for many of us around the globe. For gamers like us, even when times are hard, and even when things get rough, games still manage to make us smile, inspire us, and bring us happiness, however we define it. Today a lot of people in the US are saying "thanks" during Thanksgiving, and we’ve asked our staff to join in, as we say thanks, in our first ever Thanksgaming Day Celebration. Hear about which games, new or old, got our staff through 2021, then hop into the comments and tell us a little about the games that got you through 2021.

Hardware Editor: Chris Coke - Red Dead Redemption 2 | DLSS and FSR | World of Warcraft

As the resident tech guy, it might not surprise everyone to know that I have way less time for gaming than most of the staff. That said, the game that I’m most thankful for this year isn’t a new one: it’s Red Dead Redemption 2. I just finished as complete a playthrough as I’m ever likely to have; a playthrough I’ve been working on for more than a year. The beauty of the game, from the graphics, to the way the characters develop and change over time, to the deeper contemplations of the nature of good and evil and how we escape (or don’t) the decisions we make in life, is moving. Having played the original Red Dead, and knowing where this story leads adds another layer that can only be fully felt having taken a similar journey way back in 2013.

On the tech side of things, I’m thankful for DLSS and FSR. With the graphics card supply issues that have plagued PC gaming, these technologies stretch older GPUs and let countless gamers experience new titles that might otherwise have been out of reach.  

Finally, though it might surprise some readers given the turmoil of the last year, I’m thankful for World of Warcraft. I haven’t been an active WoW player in several years, but it’s a game I can always come back to. More importantly, it’s the game that locked me into this genre, kept me in contact with friends I might have drifted from, and what kept me writing about games in the early days after the fall of Warhammer Online when I might have given up entirely. Not playing it as much doesn’t matter. The drama of the developer doesn’t matter. What does is how the game impacted me, as a gamer, as a person, as a writer. For the history, I’ll always be thankful to WoW.  

Staff Writer: Kevin Chick: Batman Arkham Series

This year I am thankful for the Batman: Arkham series of games. Specifically, Batman: Arkham Knight. While I did play Asylum and Origins near their original release dates, I never had the chance to finish the storyline for either game. 

Over the past year, I have had to deal with a few health issues. At a low point, I need a distraction and thought a few decent narrative games would fit the bill. Enter my extensive backlog of Steam games.

I started playing the Arkham games in chronological order, finishing each main story and most DLC content. Batman: Arkham Knight was the icing on the cake. It brought everything together, and gunning around the city in the Batmobile felt great, even if the controls are a bit of an issue. It hit the spot for me and provided a break from everything going on in the world. Now, I can’t wait for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and Gotham Knights to release next year.

Staff Writer: Chris Saxon – Tales of Arise

As a huge fan of the JRPG genre, I simply love the Tales series of games. The story and gameplay mechanics of the series simply draw me in. It’s action based, and has a more “open” feel to it instead of a very linear map based game. After the last installment with Berseria, I was left feeling empty and alone. Four long years later, Tales of Arise showed up and man I wasn’t disappointed. The graphics were a huge improvement, lending aid to the story to make one of, if not the best Tales game to date. If I had to say I was thankful for one game this year, Tales of Arise would be it. It has everything: Story, Fun Gameplay, and Great Graphics!

Staff Writer: Victoria Rose – Roleplay | FFXIV

It's needless to say that roleplaying gets an unnecessarily bad rap. Even after fourteen years of doing it across the net and seven in MMORPGs, though, I'm thankful for roleplay and how it continues to wonderful friends and moments into my life. It's a hobby that's asked a lot from me in skill, emotion and time, but it's all a challenge that keeps my mind racing. And even all these years later, I feel like I'm constantly growing with both veteran players and new ones that bring incredible ideas to the table.

Plus, who doesn't love a good adventure? From grounded moments of interpersonal conflict to grand battles with the universe at stake, I feel like I've been involved in almost anything imaginable, and I'm excited for someone to prove me wrong. And in MMORPGs, everyone's been a delight in working their brilliance and creativity into worlds that I already enjoy existing in. Exploring the fringes of possibilities in these games has made me appreciate the lore and worldbuilding of MMORPGs in ways that I know I would have missed otherwise.

I'm thankful for the art of roleplaying, those who cultivate the space - from developers to community organizers - and the bonds and stories forged along the way all these years and in those to come.

Weekend/Video Editor: Steven Weber - Fallout 76

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life. Gaming has always been a, mostly, safe space, where I could go, blow off some steam, and in the case of MMOs, meet new friends. Over the past year, as social gatherings were scarce and we never knew just when things would open up, meeting with my circle of friends in person was difficult. That’s where Fallout 76 came in.

With Fallout 76's updates this past year, my close knit circle of friends found a place in Appalachia where we could all be together, launch nuclear missiles in the wasteland, and chase legendary weapons we knew we had next to no chance of ever getting. Despite not being a true MMO, our group met plenty of new friends in Fallout 76, and spent months gaming together, which we hadn’t done in years. I’m definitely thankful for Fallout 76 for finding a game we could all play together.

Managing Editor: Joseph Bradford - The Lord of the Rings Online | The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

When I've looked back on the games that have helped me get through 2021, there are actually quite a few of them. The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood comes to mind, as does EVE Online. Both of those games have been mainstays for me throughout the year, allowing me to play with some of my favorite people in the world.

But two games this year stand out for different reasons. 2021 has allowed me to jump back into my first real MMO love, The Lord of the Rings Online, in a way that has reinvigorated my love for the MMO. There have been times where this MMO has frustrated me, espeically as questionable decisions like the "mini-expansion" plague the MMO's recent history. But prepping for my Fate of Gundabad review has allowed me to really fall back in love with the world that Standing Stong Games has brought to life. Middle-earth is my favorite fantasy setting, and the stories and experiences SSG gives me whenever I jump into their version of the world are among the best in any MMORPG. As I work through Gundabad, I'm reminded of this and it's really allowed me to fall back in love with the MMO.

As an aside, there is one game I am grateful for every year, and it's actually The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Funnily enough, it's not necessarily a moment in game that causes me to be thankful. Sure, countless hours running around FUS ROH DAH'ing things to death will never get old. But rather, Skyrim allowed me to start my career in games journalism in earnest, and introduced me to friends I now consider to be as close as family. It's through Skyrim that I met many of the people that join me on our occassional Saturday streams, as well as our associate editor, Shank. This game, regardless of how many times it gets memed to hell, will always be special to me for that simple fact.

Thank You To Our Community!

Finally, we want to say thank you to our community. Online games are fun because of the communities that surround them, and we love to see our passionate community interact with each other. No matter where you live around the globe, we wish you a Happy Thanksgaming Day.


Steven Weber

Steven has been a writer at MMORPG.COM since 2017. A lover of many different genres, he finds he spends most of his game time in action RPGs, and talking about himself in 3rd person on his biography page.