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General Discussion

General Discussion 

News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: What Makes a 'Good' Community?

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80 posts found

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 2203

OP  2/16/13 2:11:10 PM#1

In the inaugural edition of The Social Hub column, Christina Gonzalez muses on what makes a good MMO community? That answer might depend on who you're asking. 

It’s no secret that many of us who have been playing MMOs for a long time don’t often find anything that quite resembles the feeling and overall experience of one of our earliest games. That one when everything clicked into place – the newness of it all, the gameplay, the content, the goals, and the community. Everyone has that experience that brought personal attention to this genre. Probably central to your time there was a “good community”.  We keep coming back to the power of community. MMORPGs and the variants that have developed through the years rely on people, no matter the genre, the economic model, or the IP. So what is a “good community” and what might we be dismissing?

Read the rest of Christina Gonzalez' What Makes a Good Community?


Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

2/18/13 2:07:49 PM#2


Social gameplay mechanics; see: SWG.  Also player driven content, such as PotBS allowing 3D modellers to create and submit ships and flags, leads to a more mature community.  

Further, giving players the same tools developers have to create new quests and content seems outrageous, but if they have player boards, such as the 7-man shipwright board of players in PotBS, to oversee player created content before it is submitted to the game developer, you can get quality of content that even developers cannot provide while also encouraging maturity and intelligence in the community.  It not only plays to a more mature audience, but it gives immature players something to work towards so they do not fall back on their standard shenanigans.

Play as your fav retro characters: My site: Blog:


Novice Member

Joined: 12/22/04
Posts: 50

2/18/13 2:10:01 PM#3
Who is the girl in the pic, that's all I want to know!

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1401

2/18/13 2:13:22 PM#4

Social Professions / Skills: Musicians, Dancers, Gamblers, Architects, Beauticians, Politicians, Criminal-Crafting (fake IDs, fencing, drugs) etc. Moreover, player-generated content, e.g., player cities and outlets.


There were 4+ year veterans in SWG that had never held a single weapon.


As an ex-SWG player, I played as an adventurer. It was always so much more fulfilling when visiting town and experiencing all the real-player hustle 'n bustle. The games of today don't offer that, which is why they all feel so lifeless and cheap.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/03/13
Posts: 311

2/18/13 2:14:59 PM#5
I think boredom creates a bad community.  When people are standing around a hub or plain bored of what the game is offering they usually have to make their own entertainment, and that often means trolling.  
  MikeB Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5624

2/18/13 2:22:25 PM#6
Originally posted by XcomVic
Who is the girl in the pic, that's all I want to know!

Just some random girl! No, it's the writer. :P

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB


Novice Member

Joined: 11/26/03
Posts: 116

2/18/13 2:27:37 PM#7
Community needs trolls, drunks, crazies, the come at me bro, not smart girl. O wait that's where I live. It's hard I personal FBI k you just need people to help new people and not a hunch of mean old folks. Guess its why I play non major standard games due to helpful friendly competitive people. Not sure on some cool communities sides eve, SWG, and the mwo crowd

Novice Member

Joined: 5/08/04
Posts: 410

2/18/13 2:28:54 PM#8

My favorite example of community in a game was Shadowbane, because the community was the game in a very real way.  It had every kind of player and guild and they all had an impact on how you played the game.  You helped the people you were friendly with, went of of the way to kill your enemies, formed alliances of neccessity with guilds you didn't trust because you had no other options.  Every player on the server could potentially impact your game experience wether you liked it or not.

When I see complaints about community in games like wow, I just don't get it.  What community?  The only people that have any effect on my game experience in wow or games like it are the ones I choose to interact with, the other 2000 people I have nothing in common with except a server name.  Thats not a community.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

2/18/13 2:36:07 PM#9
Originally posted by Jerek_

When I see complaints about community in games like wow, I just don't get it.  What community?  The only people that have any effect on my game experience in wow or games like it are the ones I choose to interact with, the other 2000 people I have nothing in common with except a server name.  Thats not a community.

Really good point Jerek.  This goes for many games, not just wow.  The gameplay needs to weave in and out of the lives and experience of other players so that there are real interactions.

I played WoW for a couple months when it first came out, but most of my experience with it comes from watching my brother play (an avid player).  There is some community in wow that is driven by PvP.  The only people my brother knows from his own faction are those in his guild (who he mostly sees as tools to help him grind gear).  Funny enough, the interactions that are more meaningful to him are those he has with the opposite faction.  Since he plays on a PvP server and is very into world PvP, he has gotten to know the enemy world PvPers well.  Also on the servers forum, people talk about world PvP, and really that is one of the very few gameplay features in wow driving any sort of community.   Especially sad since PvP is not for everyone and world PvP in wow is rather terrible these days.

Play as your fav retro characters: My site: Blog:


Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/11
Posts: 54

2/18/13 2:37:23 PM#10
I will watch this column with interest....

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 241

2/18/13 2:39:19 PM#11

I think it's really all based on the amount of End-game players to Troll ratio. These are the two ends of the spectrum, although they are not mutually exclusive, show the extremes of each game. End-game players are generally the most serious and focused of the players, they often plan out their time in their game. Trolls are the exact opposite, they spend the least amount of time being serious and often have their lives scheduled out for them. Also, definition of a community is significantly different if you add in the Forum community.


I'm a part of the Runes of Magic Community, not a manager or moderator but just a user, and it is probably one of the better ones I have seen. If you want to see the most brutal and vile community, I suggest you take a look at Heroes of Newerth (Notably their past when they had to take action against players).


I really look forward to seeing more of this column.

I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.
I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.
I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.

  User Deleted
2/18/13 2:48:23 PM#12
Real life friends playing with you

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/11
Posts: 61

2/18/13 2:49:58 PM#13

Difficulty breeds community. When you have a game like WOW, where you can solo most of the content, easily procure mats, and have nothing communal to achieve or protect. Why expect a community to develop? Most will agree the earlier MMOs (EQ, AC, UO) were much more challenging than what we see today, and the result was players working together to achieve personal goals.

Now we have auction house, then we had trade chat. Now we have dungeon finder, then we had guilds, or towns where we would meet to join for an adventure. Now we have the ability to run dungeons 50 times in a day, then we had CDs and a careful selected band of heros.




Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 541

2/18/13 2:58:38 PM#14

Really, isn't a lot of the beauty of communities is how the individual players make of it?

It seems 100% on each player's prespective. If you want something specific out of a game, you just have to find the community that looks at the same prespective you personally look at it. Once you find that cliche, you will start to begin to feel like your part of something.

MMOs Played: I can no longer list them all in the 500 character limit.


Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 20110

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

2/18/13 3:03:44 PM#15

Gameplay mechanics that create opportunities to interact are what build communities, trick is to find the right ones that won't annoy the heck out of a large portion of the modern gaming audience.

Many players won't tolerate long waits between fights, overly long travel mechanics, or most anything that takes them out of the game as it were.  While I tend to be more patient and willing to use some of the above, its pretty obvious a majority aren't interested so we need to figure out new ways to engage the community into more social activities and yet keep it fun.

Not going to say I have a lot of great ideas, I'm too firmly stuck in the past to really relate to the more modern audience, but I'm assuming they need to be activties with a clear benefit, are participatory rather than exlusionary, and keep players busy and entertained.



In my day MMORPG's were sooooo hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow....uphill both ways.
Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon


Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

2/18/13 3:07:00 PM#16
Originally posted by Rossboss

...End-game players are generally the most serious and focused of the players, they often plan out their time in their game. Trolls are the exact opposite, they spend the least amount of time being serious and often have their lives scheduled out for them. ...

So people who have to log in certain hours for pre-planned raids = good players.  Players who spontaneously play when they feel like it and don't care about grinding dungeons = trolls...?


Play as your fav retro characters: My site: Blog:


Novice Member

Joined: 2/18/13
Posts: 6

I wanna be just like Alabama Man!

2/18/13 3:14:42 PM#17

Are you implying Nazis were a "bad" community?



Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4707

GW2 socialist.

2/18/13 3:22:39 PM#18
Originally posted by mmosrdumb

Are you implying Nazis were a "bad" community?

Now who would do such a thing?  They were very inviting to all races and colors I heard.  The history books lie.  Neighborly bundt cakes for all!


Novice Member

Joined: 2/18/13
Posts: 6

I wanna be just like Alabama Man!

2/18/13 3:28:34 PM#19

Exclusions from certain communities does not make the  community  "bad."

Gated communities work well.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/10
Posts: 402

Real Animal lovers are ONLY the vegetarians

2/18/13 3:29:40 PM#20
Originally posted by mmosrdumb

Are you implying Nazis were a "bad" community?


yes they were bad, but the OP forget to add the badier and the badest community photos

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