Regional FlagDevelopment of WoW's Communities: ThoughtsSource
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Heinekenpwns
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#1 - 2011/05/12 05:46:00 PM
This discussion is meant to gather player opinions regarding the development of World of Warcraft's community over the past 6 or so years. I myself started playing right before the launch of BC and therefore I have limited perspective. I am hoping other older players (and perhaps some moderators) will be willing to join in and offer their 2 cents.

I'm just going to come right out and say it: WoW is about communities; not meta-gaming, not efficient content clearing, not title-touting pvp masters. Communities. People interacting together, enjoying each other's company, learning and growing together as people and as players, celebrating each others' triumphs, supporting each other in hardship, and laughing our heads off; together.

Lately, I have been noticing a lot of frustration in the community (at least more than usual) both in game and on the forums. I have never seen so much class warfare and general obsession with meta-game mechanics. I believe there is something deeper going on here.

I would like to specifically discuss two events that I believe have been key in setting the tone for the new age of WoW: 1) the introduction of the cross server Looking for Group/Dungeon tool, and 2) the changing of forum focus (especially realm forums) to gameplay only discussions (which, by the way, this thread is). I discern one reality from these two events: we as players are expected to care more about clearing our content efficiently than about making lifelong friendships and growing a thriving server.

I believe (though of course I can't prove) that these shifts in focus, particularly over the last year, have led to a more restless, dissatisfied, and disconnected playerbase. People don't get angry and quit WoW because its too hard or too easy. People get angry and quit because they don't have a sense of belonging which then leads them to throw a microscope to game mechanics and nit-pick about things that will never be perfect (nor ever should be).

WoW has always been more like a summer softball league than a place of employment. The focus had always been on having fun together, performing tasks that may or may not have been that entertaining or innovative in the first place but having a ball regardless. Until recently. Now the focus has shifted to quickly and efficiently completing tasks.

For the sake of our game, I hope this is a phase that we snap out of. And soon.

NOTE: PLEASE keep this discussion constructive and focused on World of Warcraft; I don't want it to get locked or deleted.

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Community Manager
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#3 - 2011/05/12 06:17:00 PM
A couple of thoughts here:

05/12/2011 09:46 AMPosted by Heinekenpwns
WoW is about communities; not meta-gaming, not efficient content clearing, not title-touting pvp masters. Communities.


I agree and I disagree. World of Warcraft is first and foremost a fun gamespace. It is a framework for communities. Wonderful communities can be made up of people whose only common ground is efficient content clearing. Many long-lived and successful communities have comprised title-touting pvp masters. Communities can be very disparate, and our challenge is to support them fairly.

05/12/2011 09:46 AMPosted by Heinekenpwns
2) the changing of forum focus (especially realm forums) to gameplay only discussions


I tend to disagree with this point. We may keep a bit of a hands-off approach with regard to posting in the realm forums, but we read them and pay attention to them. There hasn't been much of a change in focus in the realm forums since they were first activated. The majority of posts on any realm forum are players looking for guilds, or guilds looking for members, or players discussing guilds/members/players. This differs from realm to realm, and there are exceptions, but for the most part, gameplay-only discussions are prominent in the PvP, Class Roles, and Classes forums.