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Thoughts on what makes a gaming community worth it
Moderators: ConerVallore, Fractured, Masyn Goodchild, TehSoM
Author Post
{NEWFLAG} Schiesty1
Wed Mar 07 2007, 07:24AM
Registered Member #88
Joined: Wed Mar 07 2007, 07:04AM

Posts: 3
I'm sharing some of these thoughts, but they aren't mine however I felt they are well written and talk about factors that played into such a poor gaming community in WoW...instances were a big factor..of course everything is debateable, but I can agree with the majority of what was written:

I beg to differ. I believe almost all of the fault is on WoW. Now, post unlimited server transfers, the community is incredibly splintered. Although quite frankly, if the community was very worthwhile to begin with, most people would never consider the idea of a server transfer, unless they were a total toolshed piece of shit running from a bad rep.

No, even before server transfers, the community sucked, although it was slightly better before. It was even better WAY back when when you could at least converse with the other faction through 1337 to open up some extra avenues of communication. Then they even got rid of that, though god knows why. People enjoyed that part of the game. People always enjoy being able to talk shit or just talk period -- with their competition. Yet Blizz pulled the plug on it. It's not like someone who planned to exploit the system wouldn't just talk on Vent/TS/AIM/MSN/Xfire/IRC anyways. Why block in game chat? That's one thing that makes ZERO fuckin sense to me and has always pissed me off, since it's really something trivial that wouldn't be hard to alter at all.

At a base level otherwise though, this game has never been about a server-scale community. And to a lesser extent, it's even anti-traditional guilds imo. Or what I consider traditional guild ideals from the 4 MMOs I've ever played.

First off, instances. I fucking HATE instances. Ruins the MMO feel. People just don't have to deal with other people randomly, other than a pug. But a pug comes together with a common goal in mind, through long minutes or hours of spamming LFG. You don't just bump into someone in the world and group with them. You used to way back in the day, before people "knew how" to level. But not anymore. Everyone levels solo, and then when it comes to instances, everything is pre-planned before you get there. There are very few random connections in this game, and there isn't much point to getting to know people outside of your guild if your guild is any good.

As far as the guild comments... 40 man raid instances being the absolute be-all, end-all to the game brought that about. 40 people being online for 3-6 hours at the same time, in the right class balance, 3-5+ nights a week... that just takes a larger pool of people than I think most gamers are used to dealing with. It means instead of recruiting people for the person, you HAD to start recruiting people for the class, play skill, and play schedule as well, and even make those somewhat priorities over personality. With the fucked up job Blizz did of scaling raid gear, it made the game practically unplayable if you didn't have any of it, and it then made getting a guild going more about loot than friendship.

I can't even begin to count the number of times people in this game have defended themselves and their guild with, "don't flame the whole guild based on one person."

And in any other game I played, that's what a guild tag was all about. EVERY person was FULL representation of your guild tag. In WoW, so many guilds just don't give a fuck. They're a lose band of douche bags chasing loot and not caring at all about rep, their guild rep, or anything, and it just doesn't even matter. And that bothers me. It's not what MMOs are about. Playing with other people IS about the community. Why not just play Diablo2 online if that's all you want out of your game is random instances with stupid kids for new gear?

So the server-wide community sucks ass because you can't communicate with roughly half the server, and you avoid most of the server by being in instances all the time. You solo most of the time outside of that, because most stuff in the world that's efficient to do is more efficient when it's solo'd. But when it comes to your own guild, even in good guilds, if they want to get shit done, they have to recruit for it, not just casually pick up people they like. Guild apps truly do turn into more of job apps than "that random dude you had 3 beers with in the bar who you started hanging out with two years ago and now you're in his wedding." Instead it's someone coming to you with the idea of loot in their head and comraderie floating around somewhere slightly behind that, taking second seat in most cases. It sucks.

And for a while in this game, PvP was a safe haven. People PvP'd for fun, and it was about skills, and it was about friendship. You could PvP alone, or add random people, and have good times. Then patch... 1.4 was it? Came out with that fucking honor system bullshit. And turned something pure and fun into just another loot grind. And that went out the window and the PvP community broke up and was replaced by power-grinders who claimed to be PvPers.

Yeah. WoW sucks. There's not a lot else out in the world right now, but WoW isn't subbed out the ass because it's a great game... just because it has no competition because incompetent 50 year old investors who don't understand the market think it's good and won't let other good games get a fair shake at entering the market, because they aren't just like WoW, so now we're stuck with more watered-down shit games like WoW for probably another 3-5 years before something else manages to break out. QQ

I dislike instances. I don't dislike PvE in and of itself. I dislike everyone in the game... an EM EM OH... going off into little seperated areas that are not MASSIVELY MULTIPLAYER, but only kinda a lil bit, 5 to 40 people, multiplayer.

Gameplay is still king. But it's an EM EM OH. Community should be like half of the gameplay. I like games where the gameplay and ruleset enables the *community* to police itself, rather than having the game dictate what they can and cannot do with each other. Instances dictate to you that you can't fuck with someone's mob. Instances dictate that everyone gets their own "turn" if that's what to call it.

I prefer a game where people are just thrown together, and they way they all work that out is then what makes the game interesting and engaging. If you like someone, you help them. If you dislike someone, you hinder them, kill them, steal their mobs, whatever. I prefer a PvE system where damage dealt=loot rights instead of WoW's first tag system. It's a more in your face competitive PvPish PvE system, rather than a "who can beat the computer AI first" system. It becomes more of both.

And to be honest, when I started playing WoW, things that I thought were great back then have become things that I dislike now after seeing the long term effect and having more time to reflect on it. I hate that everyone has the same gear. I hate that you can just glance at someone and know 90% of what they're wearing. I hate that you can just inspect anyone to see their shit. I prefer randomness. I prefer some surprise. My biggest problem with WoW these days is total lack of surprise. Even down to the loot tables on mobs, you pretty much always know what you're going to get. While that can be comforting in some ways, it's dissappointing in many others. I also kinda loved the mail and AH systems. But now I wish they weren't there, because they make it too easy to never interact with other people.

And yeah, a lot of people out there are really stupid. But in a game with real community, you learn who they are pretty quickly. You start to instead of just dealing with people, you deal with whole GUILDS, because they all adhere to the same principles, and if you can trust one, you trust them all. If you write one member off, you write them all off. And having some people who suck, make the people who are good and fun that much more special. Kinda that whole "can't tell if light exists if there's no such thing as dark" thing. And in a game where you actually have the option to control/punish the stupid people through talent, skills, and numbers -- if it comes to that, you don't have to worry so much about them.

But developers these days just have no faith in their community, and always worry that people will somehow ruin their game, so they force us all into one specific way of doing shit, but in the process, they forget that the whole point of RPGs and MMORPGs is freedom. It's all about becoming part of a world and being able to do whatever you want. Not about constrictions and boundaries and language barriers and high level town guards and CIVILIANS AND DKS ON FUCKING PVP SERVERS and never being able to change factiosn without a full reroll and all that bullshit.

Good gameplay is tantamount. I would never plays omething like Second Life or Sims Online. Gameplay is > community. But, at the same time, gameplay should be heavily influenced by the community. In WoW, it just isn't. And in WoW, the gameplay is actually detrimental to the community. Add that all up, and that's the biggest reason that I'm not a big fan of it.
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{NEWFLAG} Disintegrate
Wed Mar 07 2007, 08:30AM
Registered Member #91
Joined: Wed Mar 07 2007, 07:42AM

Posts: 6
I have only played WoW for roughly 5 months but I have seen how that post reflects the WoW community. As for instances, I have played Guild Wars for a couple of years and although I found the game enjoyable, the fact that all missions and quests are instanced now ruins the game for me (on the other hand, GW is not considered as an MMO technicaly).

"Gameplay is > community. But, at the same time, gameplay should be heavily influenced by the community."

I wholeheartedly agree. WoW gameplay has been heavily controlled by the Developers. I'd like to see an MMO wherein the community will have an impact in the game's overall environment and give the players the feeling of being part of this world, not just another speck of dust in a desert.

Excerpt from

" In Tabula Rasa, we created a game where instead of having a static world with monotonous missions to go do, our world is not static. Monsters don’t just respawn right where they were. They have their control points that come and go. Human or others control the waypoint system and hospitals. Mission givers come and go as they fall to various factions. Missions can take you to private instance spaces. I’m sure you have heard of private spaces in other MMOs. In other MMOs, you use it to get the private opportunity to kill a boss monster to get the special drop that comes one every hundred thousand times you kill him. That is useful but it undersells what instances can do. We use them for very detailed storytelling and making sure that you feel you accomplished something grand and important by completing a series of puzzles and plot segments that are much more sophisticated in most MMOs..."

Aside from the combat system, I am interested on how TR will be tackling the concept of instances as stated in that quote. I am excited about the game and hopefully find out that it's been what I have been looking for in MMOs.

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