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Reader Comments (40)

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 8:10AM beskar said

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I use forums like TORs out of necessity for guild recruiting. What I find is many of my guild members, once inside my guild on our private forums, give up the TOR forums altogether because there's way too much drama and trolling and they can get their fix of talking Star Wars and TOR just within our membership. Not to mention some TOR mods have been elevated out of the general forum membership and rumours that they are still extracting petty "hits" on people they used to fight with when still regular members are currently going around.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 8:31AM Dumac said

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I'm not a stranger to forums and i'm a regular visitor of a couple of "general" gaming-and-other-stuff-related forums, but when it comes to game-specific forums i absolutely hate to be forced to use them.

I HATE having to browse through them to solve technical issues with my game, I HATE to need to browse the forums just to get a general idea of what's going on with the game, and don't get me started forum-based guild recruitment and management, ugh.

Forums are the most inefficient means of managing that sort of stuff, unless you are a regular daily visitor and put i in a lot of effort to follow things, they are very disorganized, horribly structured, bloated with irrelevant info, just a pain in the ass to use.

I avoid them whenever possible.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 12:53PM (Unverified) said

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The only useful forums are Forumfall.

Posted: Jul 1st 2010 12:11PM ColRoofles said

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A forum? Unless there have been some drastic changes since the game released, which I doubt, that place still remains a cesspool for the most idiotic and self-deluding wannabe PVPers.
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 8:44AM oyvjak said

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In many cases the amount of time spent on the forums is inversely proportional to the level of enjoyment you get from the game.
I found this to be true on several occasions, but particularly in early days of Age of Conan.
These days I use game forums mostly for class help (if not in a guild) and guild recruitment.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 8:46AM Kcirrot said

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I read both of my currently subbed games' (EQ2 and CoH) forums religiously and I contribute. I find them to be invaluable. I really can't get into a game without this link to the community.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 9:12AM goldenhornet said

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My addiction of choice is City of Heroes and I find the official boards to be an extremely useful and friendly community. Dev involvement is pretty high most of the time and there is a remarkably low troll population :)

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 9:09AM Damn Dirty Ape said

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I tend to read the forums for whatever games I'm interested in a lot. It started for me in the days of Everquest, when a forum community I was involved in really made the game for me. The forums were extremely helpful and an enormous source of in game knowledge.

Times have changed, but certain communities still have a lot of good helpful people and information out there (LOTRO for instance) while some forums are just a soundboard for antiquated internet memes and pvp balance whining (WoW). The former can really enhance your game experience by helping you through some tough points, giving you good advice on the game, and getting you involved in a community.

Unfortunately the latter have ruined games for me. I'm a veteran of enough MMOs now to know better, but when I was younger it was hard to invest a lot of time and energy into your class (or race, or profession, or whatever) just to go to the forums for help and have dozens of people shout at you about how nobody will group with your class at high levels, your class sucks at pvp, your class is Ezmode and nobody likes you, your profession is worthless at high levels, etc etc etc.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 1:18PM Damn Dirty Ape said

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There is a big difference between 'whining' and 'constructive criticism'. Well thought out arguments that are ignored by the developers are one thing (and a different matter entirely), but those can be few and far between.

The truth is, the majority of the posts are simple 'grass is greener' kinds of things, and people complaining because they don't like to lose. Yes there are legitimate complaints and lots of valid balance concerns, but generally even those devolve into lots of children spewing venom about it on every other post in a forum. Yes I understand class X is overpowered, but do I really need to read about it in every other post? It's a waste of time.
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 1:35PM Damn Dirty Ape said

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I suppose the custodian/developer of the forum has a lot to do with the community as well. As you stated, often legitimate complaints and observations are ignored which lead to an 'us vs them' feeling of conflict with the devs. After enough 'constructive criticism' is ignored the community starts getting angry, and you end up with the angry mob with torches depicted in the article above.

In this way, the lack of communication from the WoW devs has a lot to do with the state of the community. But, that still doesn't make it any less hard to read for those of us who just want to discuss the game itself.
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 9:16AM Ocho said

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I personally have never used a games forums. I don't see the necessity. Why talk about a game when you could be playing it, and why argue over it when you could just pummel each other in game?

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 9:53AM (Unverified) said

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I rather dislike using general forums for games as I find them an exercise in frustration. For example, I have played WoW happily for many years up until recently and I have tended to avoid the forums because they tend to give a "the sky is falling" vibe all the time.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 9:57AM (Unverified) said

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The Kingdom of Loathing forums are the best MMO / Forum mix I've ever seen. The devs are active there, the player base is overwhelmingly positive (yet unafraid to levy criticism on points of content) and it's just a wonderful melting pot of game discussion, offtopic discussion and the devs encouraging players.

Even though I've left the game, I still visit there frequently just because it's always good for a great read.

-SirNiko

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 10:35AM (Unverified) said

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I *make* MMO forums for fun and to practice community management skills before I get out of college and start looking for a job in "the industry." So of course it's assumed that I'm going to say that forums are the best thing to happen to videogames since TV screens, but I'd be wrong.

Sometimes forums stifle community, stifle competition, and suck the fun right out of the game. Sometimes developers are too busy watching their forums to visit guild forums or other general-purpose sites. So there's a good and a bad side to these tools, just like wikis, blogs, twitter and facebook pages, etc..

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 12:04PM (Unverified) said

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Mark, I would just like to "thank" you, for your eloquent use of, "quotations"
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 12:58PM (Unverified) said

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@Vyper

I see one quotation and one asterisk quotation.

Take it easy there buddy.
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 1:40PM (Unverified) said

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The most important part of Mark's post is that forums are what you make of them. They are simply tools that are neither good nor bad.

If the devs ignore the forums and let them do their own thing, they'll grow wild and untamed. If you pay attention to them, talk to them, and do a little pruning when players get out of hand (lay down the law and say you're never going to add PvP flags ever and get over it) then your forums will bear fruit.

An introduction to acclimate new players, an alternate news source when the game is down or players can't access it (at work), a place to test the waters for new content ideas or solutions to in-game bugs are all massive benefits to having an active forum community.

-SirNiko
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 6:10PM (Unverified) said

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@Vyper

"You're missing a terminating punctuation mark, bro."
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Posted: Jun 30th 2010 10:34AM willflynne said

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I'm playing SWG and Champions right now, and when it comes to my use of their respective forums, it's a night and day difference. I think for me it may be a matter of how they're laid out that makes the difference.

I'm pretty active in the SWG forums (almost 4k posts) and participate in a couple of the profession forums as well as the gameplay and general Star Wars forums. But I've always found the layout of the SWG forums to be pretty easy to navigate and been able to find what I've been looking for with relative ease.

I can't really say the same about the Champions official forums though. I don't think I've registered a single post there, trying to figure out where to look for answers is not as intuitive as I'd like and to be honest I've gotten better info looking things up on one of the Wiki sites than I have in the forums.

I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason was being involved with Star Wars for most of my life, and having a reason other than searching for game information to look through the SWG forums. While I'm familiar with the Champions universe through the old pen-and-paper RPG, I just don't have the same level of connection to that universe. That connection is still growing through playing the game, and there are enough differences between the old pen-and-paper books and the MMO that it's still a bit of unfamiliar territory.

But then, it took me nearly a year of playing SWG before I ventured into the forums for information and to voice my opinions, so the same may hold true for the Champions forums. I really don't know for sure.

Posted: Jun 30th 2010 11:33AM (Unverified) said

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Some forums are better than other, some games are bigger than others.

When I played COH, like many others, I found the forums to be very useful and the dev interaction was invaluable and well handled.

When I played WOW, I found the boards to be largely useless, but because of WOW's enormous size, there are numerous very good WOW websites that provide the necessary information and interaction.

Right now, STO forums are reminiscent of COH, but are not quite as good. I think the well established rabid Star Trek fan base makes for somewhat higher level of disgruntled venom.

Similarly, SWTOR has the problem of rabid fanbase and the additional complication that the game is still a year from release.

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