MMO Wishes - The Devs' Letters to Santa

MMO Letters to Santa
Santa is a universal symbol of the holiday season. It doesn't really matter whether you gather 'round a Christmas tree, or light the Hanukkah menorah, or warm your hands and your spirits beside the Yule log, the jolly fat man with the white beard and the red suit is everywhere, on every corner, belting out a cheery, "Ho ho ho!" and bidding childen to share their deepest holiday gift desires with him, whether they're wishing for something as simple as a teddy bear, as technological as a new iPhone, or as sentimental as world peace. (Although, show us a kid who wishes for world peace and we'll show you a kid who's never been exposed to the joys of an Xbox 360.)

This year, Ten Ton Hammer asked our developer friends, all big kids at heart, to whisper their fondest wishes into ol' St. Nick's ear...MMOG style. Their Letters to Santa range from heartfelt to hilarious, so peer over Santa's shoulder and take a look at their Christmas lists. Have they been naughty or nice? Only Santa knows! Click the links below or click through each page to see what devs are asking for.

MMO Letters to Santa

MMO Letters to Santa

Aion (NCSoft)

Our friends at NCSoft, developers of Aion, passed along a letter from Tutty, every newcomer to Atreia's favorite porgus. Tutty's requests are simple ones. We hope Santa finds his way to Atreia on time to warn Tutty about those creatures around the campfire, though.

Dear Santa,

My name is Tutty, and I'm just a Porgus, but Master Pernos says I'm very special. I've been good all year. Will you visit me

Tutty roasting on an open fire.

and bring me gifts? Visit me in Atreia! It's a nice place. We don't have elves in our world, and you'd probably find that refreshing. Likewise no reindeer. I overheard the Daevas talking, though, and I hear we do "flying slay" better than anyone.

I'm a simple Porgus, but I don't want to be a pig! I want others to have some nice things so here is my holiday wish list:

  • “Take a number” ticket dispensers for Master Pernos and all the other people of Atreia who walk around with glowing arrows above their heads
  • Snuggies for all the angry, feral people near the North Pole of Atreia
  • A star to decorate the top of Daminu’s head with. Nothing says Christmas like a decorated Elim!
  • A beard trimmer for everyone who has beards like you Santa
  • More visits from that giant bunny that makes volcanoes
  • Videos of people playing music on a big piano
  • Peace on Atreia
I don't want to be a greedy Porgus, so that's the end of my list. I want Master Pernos to be surprised when you visit, so I'm going to sneak away with this letter when his back is turned.

Hopefully I'll find a mailbox and be back before he knows I'm gone. Maybe the creatures by that campfire over there can show me the way…


Tutty the Porgus

P.S. Watch out for the Shugos here in Atreia—they’re not going to like you giving things away for free. I think their hearts are two sizes too small.

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MMO Letters to Santa

Atlantica Online / WonderKing Online (Ndoors)

The fine folks over at NDOORS, developers of Atlantica Online and WonderKing Online, have some demands for the jolly fat man. If  the milk and cookies don't win Santa over, maybe this form of...persuasion will.

Dear Santa,

Hi Santa, it’s been a very long time. We here at Ndoors have been incredibly nice, and we have been nice every year, but you never seem to drop by. We wait all night and have cookies and milk waiting for you, but you never show up. Perhaps it’s not right to make a Wish List, because that is not how we get things done around here. Therefore, we now have a list of demands we would like to make. Consider this a declaration of war upon the North Pole if our demands are not met.

  1. We want users from every MMORPG on Earth to come play WonderKing and/or Atlantica. (We will settle for 6 out of the 7 continents. Antarctica will remain under your control. You can’t fool us with this imaginary location called the “North Pole”. We know you live somewhere in Antarctica.)
  2. We want all your elves to be working in our office. Their nimble, quick thinking, cheerful nature will brighten up our office and increase efficiency – that is until we make them work 23 hour shifts. I’m sure you already do that. How else would you get gifts for EVERY SINGLE CHILD ON THE PLANET?
  3. We want brand new computers for our office. And really comfy chairs. Our backs hurt.
  4. We want you to come to Ndoors so we can get your autograph.
To make sure your understand the gravity of the situation, we have taken the liberty of holding your gift bag as hostage. The following picture is evidence.

Dashing through the snow!

You WILL have a Merry Christmas if you meet these demands. If not, prepare for PvP… MMO style. Here's a preview of what we're capable of:

Hellish firepower unleashed!

You have until the 25th.

Vengefully yours,

Ndoors Interactive – WonderKing, Atlantica Online
Nam Kim, A.K.A Game Master JustWondering.

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MMO Letters to Santa

Champions Online (Cryptic Studios)

Champions Online Executive Producer, Bill Roper, doesn't want much, just some of that stuff Jim Croce once wished he could save in a bottle 'til eternity passes away. (Time, you whipersnappers! Time!)

Dear Santa,

First of all, let me say that I’m a huge fan. I’m inspired by the fact that even though you have a very hard line with splitting your global community into subjective, unilaterally decided upon categories like Naughty and Nice, everyone seems to genuinely love what you do.

I’ve asked for lots of different things in the past. I know you never brought me that personal gold farmer, or made sure that

Perhaps saving time in a bottle looks something like this....

movie sequels don’t suck, but I’m hoping this year you can dig deep into that big bag of yours and find just one little thing for me. It isn’t much, really, and you can even just stuff it in a stocking if coming all the way down the chimney is too much work.

Time. I think we’d all like just a little more, please. Time to get that last feature in, to get another run through QA, to polish based on beta feedback, to get that marketing campaign into full swing, to continue to improve the game once it’s out, to see our friends and family, to sleep. We don’t need that much time, Santa. Just enough to get done what needs getting done.

I know time is money, on my side, and if it was in a bottle it could be saved ‘til eternity passes away – so if what I’m asking is too much, how about just some of that mojo or elf dust or whatever it is that lets you get around the world in one night? We could at least shave off some distribution time that way and get a few more days on the manufacturing end.

But, if it’s like last year, I’ll probably just get “Saint Nicked” again this year (LOL). See you at the “Hey, I was expecting the best gift ever and all I got was this stupid lump of coal” convention in Vegas this summer!

Bill Roper, Executive Producer for Champions Online

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MMO Letters to Santa

CrimeCraft (Vogster Entertainment)

Kevin Balentine, Senior Community Manager for CrimeCraft, has a few simple Christmas wishes for Santa, including some extra special skills. (But Kev, won't your superspecial dev powers do?) He also has a message of thankfulness and peace (no, not really!) for the Australian Classification Board.

Dear Santa Claus,

I know you’re busy this time of year separating out that naughty and nice list, but just so you know, I’ve been all right this year. I don’t know if you’re still making deliveries to New Jersey, but I thought I would pass on a few requests just in case.

What would I like for Christmas 2009? A few things come to mind … better shooter skills for one. I’m tired of getting killed over and over again by players in MY game. I should be gunning fools down like a gangster … oh, I just got headshot again. Santa, if I could get FPS skills for Christmas I would be the happiest community manager EVER!

Maybe this is where the coal is stored.

By the way, I saw someone running around in game named S4tan_Claws and I was wondering if that was you. Just in case, sorry about jacking those loot boxes out from under you.

I want to close this letter by letting you know a few of the things my co-workers at Vogster and I are thankful for:

We’re very thankful that we are officially banned in Australia. There’s a country that could learn a thing or two about adults and videogames. We won’t compromise our vision to get rated. (Please send the Australian Classification Board lots of coal this year!)

We’re also thankful for our all of our dedicated players and our partners throughout the industry!

Thanks for everything Santa,

-- KevinB

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MMO Letters to Santa

Dofus (Ankama)

Samuel Lorétan, Project Manager and Lead Programer for Ankama Studios, has a heartfelt wish for reaching out to gamers around the world. Dear Santa, please deliver! The more gamers in our world the better.

Dear Santa,

Samuel Lorétan

As a member of the MMOG developers’ community, I’m happy to say that this year, once again, our player base has grown more than ever. We spread the joy of venturing through virtual worlds to so many people! Of course, you do remember that a few years ago, only a small bunch of young souls were asking you to provide them with powerful items on Ultima Online. And some time before that, old geeks wished for more gold on their local university MUD. Well, we have made some progress since then. Now, even YOU can be a star in some of our online worlds!

This year, we could only wish for one more collaboration with you. Let’s spread together the experience of gaming to more people. With all our efforts to spread on traditional distribution networks and on the Internet, there are so many folks we will not be able to reach without your help. We often forget that we’re working for a minority, those with a computer, those connected to a network. So for this Christmas, I wish for more people to have access to our worlds, for them to get a nice computer and of course, a peaceful environment to use it in.

Let us create more dreams for the people out there. Let us put a dream in everyone’s head! Isn’t that what gaming is meant for?

Samuel Lorétan
Project Manager & Lead Programer
The DOFUS Team
Ankama Studio

A festive holiday scene...Dofus style!

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MMO Letters to Santa

EVE Online (CCP)

Páll "CCP Fear" Ívarsson speaks for our friends in Iceland, CCP Games, developers of EVE Online. Even though there's plenty of geothermal goodness to keep CCP warm on their "harsh rock" in Reykjavik, CCP Fear has a plan for turning up the heat this winter.

Dear Santa

In the cold wintery months of Iceland, one must bear thought to the fires  sparkling in the living rooms of most abodes, the ideal place to keep warm on this harsh rock in the North Atlantic. Heat is very important to me and I have no desire to be cold during the holiday season, as it makes turns me into a shivering Grinch of a man.

Iversson (left) and Nathan Richardsson making merry.

I strive to be as jolly as you, and with winter upon us I often scheme to retain heat during the season. As you are undoubtedlyaware, internet spaceships come with the unique ability to overheat their modular systems, increasing their output in times of distress - but damaging them in the process.  This makes me rather envious of spaceships that can heat themselves so easily, as my own earth technology struggles to keep up—even surrounded by all this bountiful geothermal power.

Santa, I must ask for your help on the matter. If you provide me with an soul-warming hearth for my apartment in Reykjavik, I’ll strive to use all my game designer superpowers to make sure that these vengeful and spiteful “masses-of-scrap-metal with a thermostats” will remain cool and docked peacefully in station, keeping your flight route free of pirates and ensuring the safe passage of your precious cargo throughout the holiday season. As you know, capsuleers are the ingenious and combative type, so you should probably attach at least two warp core stabilizers to your sleigh before undocking.

Much obliged,

Páll "CCP Fear" Ívarsson

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MMO Letters to Santa

Fallen Earth

Lee Hammock, lead game designer for Fallen Earth, has a number of wishes for Santa. Which ones would you grant?

Dear Santa,

Lee Hammock with his epic pipe.

This year for Christmas, as I have been ever so good, I would like a set of goggles to turn off my game designer eye. Unfortunately these days I cannot play a video game, particularly MMOs, without looking at it through the angle of trying to figure out what the designer’s goal was, how they were working to achieve it, how I would do it, etc. This questioning attitude is as bad, if not worse, than being a cynic and sucks the fun out of playing games very quickly. This is not to say I could do better, but instead that I want to not care to consider if I could.

And more hours in the day.

And more days in the week. Especially the weeks before deadlines.

And a pony.

And a Post-Apocalyptic Radio Holiday Special.

And a Wasteland News Holiday Edition.

And to get Two Skinnee J’s back together and not more of this five show reunion tour crap. New album or nothing.

And a new pipe. The beard demands it.

And for our FE players, all coal they get—at least salvaged coal since they can use that shit to make steel. Who doesn’t like steel? Not that any of our players would be naughty.

That’s about it.

Oh yeah, watch out for the kitty litter next to the fire place. We don’t use the fireplace so it works for us, but yeah, that could end up messy.


Somehow we're not sure we trust these gifts.

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MMO Letters to Santa


Gamepot introduced the free-to-play MMOG Bright Shadow in November of this year. Misty Wyrick, Operations Staff for Gamepot, offers up a Christmas list fit for a gamer (completely with epic loots), and reminds St. Nick not to skimp. Preach it, Misty!

Dear Santa,

How are you? Play any good games lately? I bet you get ultra beta access, since you bring everyone their video games for Christmas!  2009 has been exciting, lots of good games have come out. Even some from here at Gamepot. *waves* Hi Bright Shadow and Mir 2!

Now, let’s get down to business. I've been good this year, so it's time for you to pay up, fat man. >:] Those cookies aren't cheap!

-All the new consoles.
A lot of new consoles are out now, and I need to work on my collection. Keepin' up with the times, ya know! Throwing in some of those latest games for them wouldn't hurt either. Don't skimp!

-New Gaming Keyboard
>_> Soda got spilled on my last one... I blame Canada. (No offense Canada. Hey, call me later.)

-Epic Loots.
Uh, duh?

-Bug Spray
You get rid of the bugs...

-A snow day.
I know this is tough, but Southern California would TOTALLY freak out if you did this. Makings of a ROFLMAO moment. Besides, I'm sure some of the guys and gals in the industry out here could use the vacation (to stay home for the day and play games, of course).

-Less QQ more PewPew.

And maybe you can throw something like "world peace" in there, I suppose. >_>

I guess that's it. And hey! Watch out for that eggnog! No drinking and flying! (Same goes for you, stop light nose!)

Happy holidays from Gamepot USA! Rockin' this year and those to come!


Misty Wyrick
Operations Staff, Gamepot (USA)

C'mon, admit it--this looks kinda fun.

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MMO Letters to Santa

Global Agenda (Hi-Rez Studios)

Todd Harris of Hi-Rez Studios, developers of Global Agenda, penned this heartfelt missive to the Big Guy. Although Santa is clearly an elf sympathizer, we're certain he'll understand and hear Todd's plea. Maybe.

Dear Santa Letter

Holiday greetings...Global Agenda style!

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MMO Letters to Santa

Joseph Amper, Marketing Coordinator for game portal, offers some selfless Christmas wishes for both good community and good journalism in the MMOG space, and one more self-centered wish for coffee (although, we can see that wish providing benefits to humanity as a whole).

Dear Santa,

How are you?  I heard you were making room for a virtual goods division in your workshop. Amazing how you’re never

Joesph Amper

behind the times…

This is my wish list for Christmas:

  • I wish ego-stroking players would grief less and spend more time making friends.  I also wish that people on the receiving end of grief would try harder not to let it ruin their days. 
  • I wish certain journalists and other industry professionals would dig a little deeper when judging microtransaction-based games – these games have actually come a long way in the past couple of years.  I read the same misconceptions over and over, and then I read articles with good ideas for game balance that are already implemented in plenty of games.
  • I wish MMO gamers could understand how much so many community managers, GMs, and support people really care about making their experience a good one – all it takes is one bad egg to ruin that image.
  • I wish that those community managers, GMs, and support people who don’t care about their communities would GTFO.
  • I wish there was a coffee drink called “Joey,” that is a 16-ounce iced mocha latte with an extra shot of espresso and one measure each of chocolate and white chocolate, so I would never ever have to repeat that ever again.


Joseph Amper
Marketing Coordinator

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MMO Letters to Santa

Jack Emmert (Cryptic Studios)

When we read this letter to Santa, we know that Jack Emmert, C.O.O. of Cryptic Studios, understands the needs of gamers and speaks for us all. Can we get an amen...or how about a hearty "Ho ho ho!"?

Dear Santa,

I’d really like some MMORPG’s to come out that are different, unique. It’s been awhile, but we haven’t had anything to shake things up. Seems like there’s been a lot of cookie cutter games. Sure, different genres are nice, but I’d really like some game mechanics that are just wild and off the wall. Admittedly, I think we’ve got something cooking already here at Cryptic with Star Trek Online, but I’d love to see more of it.

And I can’t wait to see MMORPG’s on my consoles! I’ve written you letters in the past about this, but it seems that it’s finally going to come true.

I can’t wait for the color tablet reader. I think the Kindle is great (my wife liked hers last year), but until I can read my comics on them, I don’t think I’ll be making the switch.

I know that these won’t be out in time, but I’m very excited for the Warhammer 40K tyranid codex that’s out in January. If you can find your way to sneak anything under the tree early…I won’t tell if you don’t!

By the way, instead of cookies, I’ve got another little gift for you: a Star Trek Online beta code! Best thing ever. Shame it won’t be out in time for your big day, but you can get it for Mrs. Claus at Valentine’s Day.

Jack Emmert, COO Cryptic Studios

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MMO Letters to Santa

Lord of the Rings Online (Turbine)

It's probably not reasonable to ask Santa for the big ticket items like peace on earth, which means something on a slightly smaller scale will have to suffice. Brian "Zombie Columbus" Aloisio, Game Systems Designer for Lord of the Rings Online, understands this, and his letter reflects that understanding eloquently.

Dear Santa,

As an MMO developer, I’ve become a rather cynical person.  It is par for the course; you need thick skin and a dark sense of

You can't go wrong with a nickname like Zombie Columbus. For real.

humor.  I say this so you’ll know that when I hear people ask for “Peace on Earth” for Christmas, I’m well aware of how corny and perhaps insincere it sounds.  People who ask for things for other people rub me the wrong way.  It just doesn’t feel right, and I question their motives.  Yet, we all have to live in the world, so asking for it to be a better place is good for yourself as well.  But I digress.

For Christmas, I want peace in the MMO space.  I want everyone to realize that there are many people with many different tastes.  A game that is perfect for one person, can be bad for another.  This does not make the game good or bad, or either person more correct then the other.  I want players to realize that developers do their best with the resources they have and that not all of their requests are reasonable. I want developers to realize that players each have their own definition of fun and that talking to them is worthwhile.  I want the haters to stop hating, then fanbois to chill out, and for everyone to realize they have more in common than they thought.

 That and an RTS MMO.

Brian “Zombie Columbus” Aloisio

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MMO Letters to Santa

Runes of Magic (Frogster)

Christopher "Icarii"  Ducrest swears he's on the Good List--who are we to question him? After all, his letter provided some valuable ideas for our own wish lists. (Well, with the exception, maybe, of the whole anti-puppy thing.)

December 10, 2009

Santa Claus
The North Pole

Dear Santa,

It has been  quite a crazy year. Honestly, for the most part, I have been a good boy. Though, there was that time in Cabo....

Icarii may not like puppies, but other than that we're sure he's a swell guy. See?

On the top of my wish list Santa, I would like a Zelda-themed MMO. Please oh please pull some strings at Nintendo and convince them to make it!

My girlfriend also wants a puppy, I don't. If you could just happen to drop the puppy off somewhere else I would be forever thankful. Better yet, make HelloPuppy Online and we can call it a done deal.

I would really like to see more MMO themed clothing lines. With the amazing artists that this industry has, it would be cool to see some more branded items from those talented guys and girls.

My mouse has been bad lately and what better way to punish it than by getting me the new Razer Naga.

While you're digging through your goody bag Santa, please pull out an intern who knows how to make a good cup of coffee. The last one you gave me breaks down all the time, runs late and never replaces the toilet paper in the company restroom. This has led to some interesting adventures.

The last item on my wish list is the virtual mount converter. I have too many in-game mounts and I need a car...bad. You've got a reindeer with a glowing red nose so I know this can be done somehow. If you can, I would like the new Nissan 350Z. At this point I'll take it in any color...even pink.

On the good list – check it!


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MMO Letters to Santa

Star Trek Online (Cryptic Studios)

What did Star Trek Online Producer, Craig Zinkievich, get for the holidays? Elf grief--'nuf said. And you thought those were just incredibly short Romulans, didn't you? Read it and weep, my friends.


Oh-ho, and where has the time gone my rotund and jolly friend? Is it December already? A yearly list you desire and a list you shall have, you adept distributor of wonderful goods! But, before we get down to 2009’s “wishing,” perhaps we could take a moment to follow-up on our previous communication?

Not a tribble, but just as troublesome./em>

I really – truly – do so appreciate the excitement and passion that your indentured elves have brought into the Star Trek Online Beta. And I certainly do not regret sending them invites. Oh, no. Certainly not! But – and it’s an ever-so-small but – could you please politely ask them to stop griefing players every second of every day?

We’ve posted on the forums. Pleaded, really.

We’ve sent warning e-mails. Demanded, even!

We’ve utilized the awesome power of Customer Service to suspended and / or ban no less than 26 separate accounts registered with “@northpole” or “@elvenworkshop” e-mail addresses! Banned! And can you believe it?

It doesn’t work. They won’t stop!

I’m sure they’re proud of how much Klingon profanity they know – who wouldn’t be? But, do they have to be so public about it?

As for my Christmas wish... How are you with arranging careers long-term? I mean, you’re immortal and you’ve somehow managed to maintain a successful enterprise based in a resource-free wasteland, so you must have some considerable business talent. If you could just focus that enterprise savvy onto figuring out how I can never-ever-forever-never have to executive produce another early February game launch... Yeah, that’d be swell. Really.

Sure, it’s a great time of year to launch an MMO and STO is raring to go. But it’s just after Christmas and I haven’t had the time to focus on all the gaming I need to do. Me! It’s almost embarrassing how far I haven’tgotten in Dragon Age. Brutal Legend, Beatles Rock Band, Uncharted 2, L4D, Spirit Tracks... They’re all just sitting there calling to me. Whispering secrets. Imploring me. Compelling me. And what can I do about it? Nothing!


Craig Zinkievich, Star Ttrek Online Executive Producer

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MMO Letters to Santa

Torchlight (Runic Games)

This year, Runic Games gave us the gift that keeps on giving--Torchlight. Now, we're hoping that Santa gives least where Matt Lefferts, animator for Runic Games, is concerned.

Dear God of Gift Giving, Saint o’ Sleighs, Consumer of Cookies, Jinn of Jolliness,

This year has been tight on all of us.  Many, like myself, can’t make the trek homeward to dance around the festivus pole with

Matt, chiling with co-worker Wonder Russell's dog, Falcor.

our families, but still we find ways to see the rum and eggnog flow freely.  So this year I pray thee, take heart and close consideration upon the ever diligent inspection of your hallowed list.  Should you find me amongst the favored, I have but few things of you to ask…

  • A girlfrie… I mean a sweet racecar bed
  • Please make Brutal Legend twice as long and twice as METAL
  • Please make motion games less cool, I don’t want to have to be good at Kung Fu to actually play my games…
  • Please save the jobs of all the remaining people in the game industry and find a way for all the people recently let go to form new companies and be way cooler than ever dreamed possible.
  • Please help merge facebook, youtube and twitter together into YouTwitFace as predicted by Conan O’Brien
  • Help the good folks on The Black Mesa Project finally release.
  • Help my mom understand that I’m not a, “Graphic Designer.”
  • Let there be an ultimate remake of the Blood Omen/Soul Reaver series as one cohesive game, penned by Amy Hennig
  • Help Valve surprise the world with Half-Life 2: Episode 3, and HL3 in 2010
  • Coal… because it’s so frickin’ cold in Seattle I saw a homeless guy get arrested for attempted bank robbery so he could go to jail and be some place warm.

May your deer fly true, and your boots stay dry.

Matthew Pieter Lefferts
Runic Games - Animator

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MMO Letters to Santa

Wonacott Communications (PR Firm)

Last (alphabetically speaking) but not least, Wonacott Communications had so much fun gathering letters from clients like Ndoors and that they decided to send a letter to the Big S. themselves. (Please note: if you happen to be a hot guy interested in an internship with a public relations firm, you might find yourself wrapped and stuffed under a Christmas tree. We're just giving fair warning.)

Dear Santa,

We have been a very good PR agency this year: we worked with awesome clients so we never had to embellish about how good a game was; we shared with the player communities; and we played nicely with other agencies. Here is our wish list for Christmas:

  • Assets!  We can always use more assets.
  • WoW amnesia.  This is something we’d like you to give the world, on our behalf.  See?  We’re selfless, too!
  • A library of every (good) video game ever made … you know, for “research.”
  • A hot new intern (preferably a hot GUY intern for Racheal).

We promise to have cookies and Kahlua waiting for you when you deliver our gifts.  Also, what are your PR needs for 2010?  Can we send you our capabilities presentation?

Wonacott Communications

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About the Author

Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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