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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: MMO Databases

Posted by MikeB Sunday February 2 2014 at 10:18PM
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In this week's Community Spotlight, we focus on the thread "How do you feel about mmorpg databases?" by Sawlstone:

I was thinking yesterday as I logged in to wow yet again after a long break. If there was never a or that eventually led to the amazing would my feelings regarding World of Warcraft be the same. My feeling is simple. I want to discover, explore and learn in an mmorpg.

I'm sure there must have been websites like these for other earlier games but for me these are the ones l discovered for myself and they changed my experience drastically. Starting out in a new game and discovering things yourself is how it was meant to be. Asking a traveller who you meant in game for directions or a tip on where to find a quest is how it was meant to be. Somedays in wow, all you get is L2google....

Now I absolutely salute the people behind such amazing websites that are invaluable for some players. I just wonder if players today placing too much blame on a developer saying a game is completely on rails, whien in fact the shear infromation surrounding a game is jsut saturating their perspective.

One statement that is without a doubt true. Mmorpgs would not seem as on 'rails' if databases didn't exsist. How do you feel?

Read on for some highlights from the thread!

Kevyne-Shandris finds these sites helpful:

Those websites help in many ways beyond quest advice. I like reading the comments on Wowhead on the quests (if it's not the usual driveby stuff), as it offers more info and sometimes more history.

Perfect example is like fighting the pet battle trainers in WoW. Now you can spend an hour trying to figure the right pet classes to use (and lose your win ratio in the process), or you can goto places like Wowhead and study the advice players offered. I was remembering how folks were saying one trainer was brutal to get through (a gate?). But I went in and within 3 tries completed it. Then came back and added my 2 cents so the next Joe won't feel like it'll take rocket science to win. I do it also for those Holy paladins wanting a challenge to down content as a healer (it's actually fun thinking out of the box to do it).

BTW, WoW got the "questing on rails" term because how the quests were laid out into hubs in Cata. No longer could you just pick up a quest while traveling, you have to first complete a whole series of quests to start another in a different zone. THAT got old quick, as you had to even track down the breadcrumb quests to even get a chance to talk with another zone quest giver. It's a lot of wasted back-to-back traveling that mimics Archaeology (ugh!).

But over all those sites add more to questing than just a paper in your journal. If you're a avid quester they'll be your trusted friend as it'll take a year to get the Loremaster achieve, and to complete all the quests...years.

iridescence takes a completely opposite view:

I wish there was a way to delete all gameplay  information about every videogame from the internet except perhaps tough puzzles. It would make them a lot more fun to play to be forced to figure things out yourself or with friends like the old days. Unfortunately that will obvious  never happen

RealmLordsKen isn't necessarily a fan, but will use them if he needs to:

When I first started WoW, also my first MMORPG, and I learned of the "look up your quest" web sites...

I considered it cheating.

I also was never a fan of "hint books" for RPGs, and felt the same way about them.

I use them when I have to because of poorly written quests, or when I have zero immersion in the game and just want to plow through game mechanics to level my character.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan, but it's not something that bothers me too much. With all the information available on the internet, it's no surprise that these sites have cropped up and are relied upon by many players. There isn't really a way around it other than to design your content so that is completely dynamic. That said, I do like these sites for comparing item sets and that sort of thing, but I tend to avoid using them to aid me in quests unless I am somehow really stumped.

What's your take on MMO databases? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Dreamo84 writes:

I'm kind of on the fence with this one. It's great, and it's bad at the same time.

One thing I think does more harm is the way Blizzard points out what gear you're supposed to use and even gives you pictures of it and tells you where to get it.

Didn't the fun in RPGs used to be finding awesome gear somewhere and not expecting it? The tier system might be the worst invention in the history of MMO "progression".

I always wondered why RNG gear like Diablo was never a big thing in MMOs. How cool would that be?! I might actually be more interested in doing end game content in WoW if there was some discovery involved rather than just an expectation of eventual achievement.

Sun Feb 02 2014 10:42PM Report
IGaveUp writes:

One aspect of the information sites that I find very positive is that the comments sections facilitate a sense of community.  It's player interaction, although non real-time.

Mon Feb 03 2014 12:50AM Report
Kevyne-Shandris writes:

Not only are the comments useful, they're informative. Some players go out of the way to explain even the lore behind a quest line. Take for example the Crusader Bridenbrad quest line. It's was designed as a memory of a Blizzard worker's relative that died of cancer who played the game. It's one of the most touching and tear jerking quest lines in WoW after learning -- by reading those comments --  of the real back story of the quest.


It's much more than clues in how to finish a quest, it adds body and even reason how/why the quest even exists. WoW has some gems like those, especially with memorial quests of those who died, just like that child who played a Tauren who also died tragically and Blizzard memorialized in the game.


The feedback from players is quite beneficial, be it with the quest lore/ back story / or even humor (yes, WoW has some hilarious quests). And that's why those sites will remain useful as long as the game exist.

Mon Feb 03 2014 4:13AM Report
Eladi writes:

Nobody is ever forced to look at these sites, they are damn handy in times you are stuck or need the background info for some other reason, mayeb youre writing a story, maybe you want to know how to build a good character whitout reinventing the weel. 

Its also good to show the weakness of themepark games :)  only sandbox games cant have spoilers since you build the story yourself :)

Mon Feb 03 2014 8:36AM Report
Mardukk writes: There is a zero percent chance you can complete 90% of the content in EQ1 without a database.  I would love to see people stumble their way through that game without a database...haha. Mon Feb 03 2014 2:33PM Report writes:
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