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Reader Comments (6)

Posted: Dec 7th 2007 8:34AM Grizz said

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I have yet to play a newer mmo without official forums...I think.

But i can add that seeing "This game sux, im out" trolls on official forums can really be negative to new players considering joining, and are previewing the forums.

But on the other hand forums like SWG only allow subscribers to post, so you know that rant is from someone who actually pays for the game, and not some 'hater' from another game poking their head in to start some trouble, like you see on fansite forums like stratics, or mmorpg.com.

Posted: Dec 7th 2007 11:13AM (Unverified) said

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The best communities are often those where both sides come together to help maintain them, especially when they're quite large in size. For example, initially the forum moderators may be hired by the company to relay and administer the community rules / policies. Over time though, their secondary goal may be to seek out those who best contribute to the community and in turn elevate their roles, thus giving them privileges to assist in the maintenance of the community as well. Thus the larger your community grows, the easier it actually becomes to maintain. Even more so by getting the community members to participate, it creates a real feeling of partnership and cooperation between both sides, something which you really can't put a price tag on.

BTW one of the best books I've read on this subject is Amy Jo Kim's "Community Building on the Web". You can see a rough outline of the book at it's companion site below.

http://www.naima.com/community/

Posted: Dec 7th 2007 11:23AM (Unverified) said

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GW lets the fansites handle forums, it works fine.
If you think a fansite has too much troll, you can move to another fansite.

Posted: Dec 7th 2007 11:34AM (Unverified) said

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Tabula Rasa is the only modern MMO I've played so far without official forums. I was initially really skeptical, but I think the forum-less format has really let the community blossom on its own. Their community team has done a spot on job of highlighting the exciting fan-driven events and content on their official site, which I think makes for a nice balance.

Posted: Dec 7th 2007 4:11PM (Unverified) said

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I tend not to even like forums in the first place, but I agree with the commenter about the fansites running them.

Amusingly, when Linden Lab removed a couple key forums, people stormed the blog. So a simple 'Good Morning Second Life' post will result in 48920842930 screaming comments. (Warranted or not is another post).

The other forums do have vibrant communities outside the official sphere and usually come up in search results when seeking out an answer to a particular issue. So, sure, I'll conceded there is a use.

Kinda like a bus. Useful, but thanks, I'll take my car. :)

Posted: Dec 7th 2007 7:37PM (Unverified) said

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Horizons in beta had a nice "official" site; the owner was an enthusiast and put a lot into the site with various compendia. At release, a huge multi-tentacled company was named official instead. The original site withered and died. The new official site was a cesspool, with moderators seeming to egg on the local sociopath. Any inquiries from potential players were smothered in the extreme negative. When Hz changed hands, I think the new VC's lawyers took an interest and many, many posts were suddenly permanently deleted, and some posters banned. Because there was an "official" site there wasn't much activity at the alternative olayers' sites, so potential new players were directed to the charnel house.
So, official, but uncontrolled, the worst of all worlds.

Vanguard had many fan sites, supported in varying degrees by the devs. In beta when someone suggested that thus and so was a mite harsh, the self-appointed hard core landed like a tonnabricks. They drove away quite a few mid-core gamers. Problems with beta showed up all over the forums, and with so many fora, the devs were unable to respond effectively to all.
Unofficial, uncontrolled.

I vote for a fairly strictly moderated forum, company run, for the exchange of information, banter, and player feedback. LotRO does it well.

Trolling/flaming/ranting can take place on one of the multi-game sites.


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