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February 19, 2009

Comments

Melf_Himself

I think part of it is the random-face-in-the-crowd aspect. If there are a bajillion people on the server, you know you can act like an ass because nobody will remember you. If it's smaller then people's names start to stick, and you can't fade into anonymity as easily.

Nef

The numbers in WoW definitely contribute to its problem. Idiots tend to be pretty vocal. Even if the server only has a thousand people on at any given time and 100 people on there are idiots blabbering about on local channels -- it'll feel like the whole community is crap.

When I played WoW I came into the game with an already established guild. The first thing I did was disable all public channels possible -- the game was very fun after that.

I haven't even tried chatting in W101. I find the game more of a 'break' from others and don't see the need of going through the hassle.

In ROM the community doesn't seem too bad, yet. I haven't needed to group for anything yet, even for the couple of bosses I needed to kill. The game is easy to solo, and that could harm it in the long run as the population grows.

I need to check out the other servers in ROM and their guilds, see how the game is looking overall... (think I'm currently on Osha or something? I didn't pay attention...) The community will be a make or break point for me.

As for MMO communities in general -- I love Eve Online's the most. I hardly do more than skill training and trading, but I still log on almost daily and keep up with the forums and other events.

Alysianah aka Saylah

@Nef - My problem with that argument is that if it's a certain percentage then I still should encounter that "WOW-like" bad behavior in other games, just proportionate to the population but that doesn't feel like it's the case.

And yes, I did EVE a disservice by not mentioning that community. There is of course the expected smack talking in lower security areas where people are out there blowing each others ships to bit but on the whole, the community is a good one. Now go figure in a game where basically anyone can be the enemy of anyone else and it seems like it should be pretty abusive but it's not.

Sente

While World of Warcraft do have a lot of nice players, it was the first MMO for me which I had to unsubscribe to some fo the general chat channels due to the large amount of less tolerable chat there.

Also, this was also the first time that PUGs really become too often a dreaded experience. And after my old guild there fell apart I left the game.

But after that I have found both old and new games to have more of those ugly bits, including EQ2. Perhaps not to the same extent, but still a significant change from my pre-WoW game time, perhaps with the exception of FFXI which were somewhat bad even before.

I do think a focus on items/gear and "end-game" and some specialised role patterns to abide by has something to do with it, perhaps not cause that kind of community attitude, but perhaps encourage undercurrents in that direction.

Look at City of Heroes/Villains as another example, where "gear" is not really an issue to be successful in playing the game (at least PvE side), there is no "end game" that dnagles like a carrott for everyone to "work" towards and it is quite flexible in team composition.
That game has one of the most friendly and encouraging communities I have encountered.

For Runes of Magic I am not quite sure where the community is going. It is still rather new and for the most part I think it is ok, although there has been moments which have been less encouraging.

Tesh

I find that I play W101 more like a game that happens to be online than an MMO. That has to do with a variety of subtle effects, like the chat filter, monetization, limited combat population (4 on a side), and the lack of extracurricular activities.

I'm not complaining, since that's pretty much how I play WoW, too. I play solo, ignore other players for the most part and just do my own thing.

The best community I've been a part of is the Puzzle Pirates one. I definitely think the lack of loot lust and the focus on player skill rather than avatar skill (no levels, just performance indicators) are a huge factor in that. The forums are also excellent.

Nef

Sorry if I wasn't clear, I wasn't going for a certain percent, but saying that it only takes a small number of idiots to ruin an otherwise nice community. I did generalize WoW a good bit -- there are other factors. But, I still find WoW-ish behavior in every MMO I've played, to some degree.

Just a few days ago I was playing EQ2 and there were a few players that reminded me of the ol' Barrens chat. The difference in EQ2 and in WoW, however, was how the other players reacted to them -- the EQ2 players generally tried to get them to shut up or go away, discouraging 'WoW'-ish behavior. That could, and probably is, a major factor in the perceived difference in community -- where one allows rampant behavior, others try to reign it in.

CoH/V is another great community, I should of mentioned it, too.

As to game play influencing how the community is, I think it's possible. Looking over the MMOs, the ones that encouraged a lot of group play I've found to be the most mature. DDO (at launch) was good for that, you couldn't play the game solo so grouping was easy, and the community was pretty good. I think I remember AC2's community was pretty good, I solo'd and grouped a lot in that one. (wish it was still around)

Also, when I was on WoW's PvP servers, I think the community was actually better on them than usual. PvP/RvR can bring people together amazingly well, even if it is against other players.

Alysianah aka Saylah

As much as I enjoy soloing, I do think grouping or some level of dependency does help to foster better game community. And yes, AC2 had a very nice community. You could solo and grind if that's what you liked. I did a lot of that too. However, the coolest quests and instances required groups sometimes REALLY BIG groups - 60 to 80 ppl. You get to see the same players doing those each week which made for very tight knit server populations.

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The Smithes

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