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

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80 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/11
Posts: 4707

GW2 socialist.

2/18/13 3:31:03 PM#21
Originally posted by mmosrdumb

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

Gated communities work well.

Yeah except they killed people they didn't want in their community.  Other than that, they had great fashion sense.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 653

2/18/13 3:51:45 PM#22
Is it possible to hire more assistants for Bill Murphy so he could have time to write more, instead of a bi-weekly article about MMO communities?  What is there to say about MMO communities, twice a week no less?  IMO, have Mr. Murphy write more or get the Coyote back.


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/10
Posts: 677

2/18/13 3:55:19 PM#23

My first community experience in an mmo was in Nexus: Kingdom of the Winds.  This was back in 1998 and overall everyone was pretty helpful and respectful towards each other.  There were a few bad seeds but they had a system in game that would send players who broke the rules to court then to jail to serve out a term based on their crime.


Which made the few bad apples in the game actually pretty infamous, I can still remember the most popular criminal, his name was Slime.  In this game you also had a "legend" which was a viewable chart of your accomplishments in game that everyone could inspect.  Bad accomplishments like jail terms were marked in red, Slime's legend was as red as... well a very red object!


Then I jumped to EQ1 and the community there was about the exact same as Nexus just without the in game judicial system.  For me I never really saw the shift from decent normal mmo community to the Hitler picture bad community until WoW launched.  Even DAoC had a pretty tight knit community.


Once WoW hit the scene the flood gates opened and the scumdogs of the universe poored in.

Playing: Smite, Marvel Heroes
Played: Nexus:Kingdom of the Winds, Everquest, DAoC, Everquest 2, WoW, Matrix Online, Vangaurd, SWG, DDO, EVE, Fallen Earth, LoTRo, CoX, Champions Online, WAR, Darkfall, Mortal Online, Guild Wars, Rift, Tera, Aion, AoC, Gods and Heroes, DCUO, FF14, TSW, SWTOR, GW2, Wildstar, ESO, ArcheAge
Waiting On: Nothing. Mmorpg's are dead.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

2/18/13 3:55:43 PM#24
A good community is one where I am happy to encounter another player.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2439

2/18/13 4:00:36 PM#25
Once you switch to F2P the community of your low level population is going to turn to crap. It is pretty much guaranteed. Over time it might not be as bad.

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/18/13 4:02:22 PM#26
Originally posted by Sijjistoryus

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

This is the largest failing of the MMO format (in my opinion only, of course).

Encouraging a mindset that the only things worthwhile to do are things with rewards, or it's complement; unless it Gets Stuff, it is not worth my time.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/15/12
Posts: 3

2/18/13 4:06:32 PM#27

Gaming communities suffer now days because players enter with the intent to maximize their players level/complete the game as fast as possible and I think this has a lot to do with the linearity of the games now days. 

Take for example a game like Ultima Online, as old as it is, it's a good example because there was no storyline or quest to linearize the game and to this day I still believe the community felt the best. With a quest line to follow, you instantly make the game so anyone not on the same stage as you serves you no purpose to interact with. You have a goal to find people on the same step so you can get to the next. Of course removing quests from a RPG makes little sense so it’s up to the developers to think of ways of incorporating players in quests they have no real stake in.

Another thing that makes for a poor community is having a level system where the maximum level player can squish the lowest level like an insignificant bug. This is counter intuitive to creating a game in which you want to have as many players as possible interacting with each other. With a system like this you are not only dividing your players but you are also creating zones in your world, divided by levels, which become obsolete once the majority of the population progress to the next and in result making a wasteland of a community for new players to the game. Who wants to start playing a game and believe that no one else is playing the game because in reality no one goes to the starting zones because there is no reason to go back? Taking Ultima Online as example again, I can still remember to this day players of all skill levels interacting together as you could serve some purpose even if you weren’t maxed out in melee or magery whether it be casting a low level spell to deactivate someone magic reflect or throwing some explosion potions.

Finally I think games need to do a better job of implementing interfaces for communication. Chat boxes are what they are and for me conversations often times go overlooked, but I could imagine a game with a text based application similar to a phone for notification and message sending. On receipt of a text you can hear a notification via sound or visual aid. In addition visual and audible notifications of events in the world could be clearer. Some games are better than others at this but for the most part I have played games where I’m often left in the dark on what’s going on and the last thing to help build a in game community is giving your player a sense of loneliness. 


Novice Member

Joined: 2/18/13
Posts: 6

I wanna be just like Alabama Man!

2/18/13 4:23:42 PM#28

I actually wish these "communities" were more friendly towards mmo gamers, anything to keep you glued to an electronic device in your homes for 4+ hours a day/night gives me a slightly less clogged road and/or sidewalk. And I don't have to look around mammoths at the pub to catch the eye of a good looking woman.


Please be more friendly to these people.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/03/13
Posts: 311

2/18/13 4:27:11 PM#29
[mod edit]
  User Deleted
2/18/13 4:40:28 PM#30

lol what  the heck dude?

At any rate, I have found finding a good community in wow pretty easy, same with rift and same with swtor believe it or not.

GW2 could use some serious help in this dept.

I know I said irl friends, but it doesn't stop there, right now I have no irl friends in my main game (WoW) and the community I am involved in couldnt be much better. I attribute it to the various leaders and the passion players for both factions are playing with.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/12
Posts: 169

2/18/13 5:06:58 PM#31
Well I'm not quite sure what exactly makes a good online community. I do know however I see little perecentage in discussing such a topic with a person who would use a regime known for its systematic murder of millions of innocents as a comedy exmaple of a bad one.

If you don’t do stupid things while you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old.


Elite Member

Joined: 4/11/09
Posts: 833

2/18/13 5:24:57 PM#32
Originally posted by FARGIN_WAR
Well I'm not quite sure what exactly makes a good online community. I do know however I see little perecentage in discussing such a topic with a person who would use a regime known for its systematic murder of millions of innocents as a comedy exmaple of a bad one.

A little harsh perhaps but you have a point.  

The problem anyone is going to have in discussing this issue is the divide between "Carebears" and "PK scum".

If you believe an MMORPG is all about competition, adrenaline rush and ego you will have no common ground with someone that believes an MMORPG is about cooperation and friendly shared "role play" .

An inherently fluffy piece like this will in no way bridge this divide or even subtantially  assist any group of MMO players in forming communities.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/19/06
Posts: 6

2/18/13 6:16:44 PM#33


This was kind of an introduction. I think community is a term that gets tossed around and we judge rather quickly these days. Some might feel MMOs today are becoming single-player oriented and thus community isn't relevant. Some might claim it's more relevant for 'lacking'. There will be other topics down the line, so I did hope to get input as to what you guys might feel is missing in this particular discussion. I started in DAoC but still love playing today and I'll admit that, like many here, I have a sense of nostalgia that can affect my POV in modern MMOs.

As far as the images for this piece, I didn't select them.

Kyleran -

My site was indeed hacked over the weekend, but I'm working on restoring it.



Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 4501

RIP City of Heroes!

2/18/13 6:32:56 PM#34
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by Sijjistoryus

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

This is the largest failing of the MMO format (in my opinion only, of course).

Encouraging a mindset that the only things worthwhile to do are things with rewards, or it's complement; unless it Gets Stuff, it is not worth my time.

 I don't think that is the games fault.  I believe it is player mindset which comes from society.  It a time when people are pushed to their working limits for less money and others are getting paid tons of bonus money to buyout and breakup companies, I think greed has affect everyone to some degree.

You see it in the little things like travel times and down times.  To people bitching about a boss drop should be for their character rather than ANYONE else.  People want to be productive and anything that takes away from it is a negative.

I don't think it's a problem that a game can fix as it comes from outside.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 30

2/18/13 6:48:37 PM#35
Originally posted by Maephisto
Is it possible to hire more assistants for Bill Murphy so he could have time to write more, instead of a bi-weekly article about MMO communities?  What is there to say about MMO communities, twice a week no less?  IMO, have Mr. Murphy write more or get the Coyote back.

Bi-weekly means every other week, not twice in one week.  

And community is a tricky concept. There are communities within communties online, so who knows where this column might take us? Let's wait and find out, shall we?


-Lisa Jonté
Writer, Gamer, Malcontent
Fair Game at


Novice Member

Joined: 1/20/05
Posts: 30

2/18/13 6:52:37 PM#36
[mod edit]

-Lisa Jonté
Writer, Gamer, Malcontent
Fair Game at


Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 20137

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

2/18/13 7:14:56 PM#37
Originally posted by Seshat


This was kind of an introduction. I think community is a term that gets tossed around and we judge rather quickly these days. Some might feel MMOs today are becoming single-player oriented and thus community isn't relevant. Some might claim it's more relevant for 'lacking'. There will be other topics down the line, so I did hope to get input as to what you guys might feel is missing in this particular discussion. I started in DAoC but still love playing today and I'll admit that, like many here, I have a sense of nostalgia that can affect my POV in modern MMOs.

As far as the images for this piece, I didn't select them.

Kyleran -

My site was indeed hacked over the weekend, but I'm working on restoring it.


I'm sorry that happened to you, and I hope it wasn't due to your affiliation with this site.   (what in the world is wrong with people like that?)

Interesting that you started in DAOC, that title IMO had a perfect storm of game design elements that really fostered a strong community, more so than any title I played before or since.

For those who weren't there during it's heyday, they really have no concept of what it was all about, and of course, not everyone felt the same way as I did apparently.

In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
"I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
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


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2361

2/18/13 7:47:31 PM#38

What makes a good community?


And it isn't simply in game.  In MMOs in particular "Communities" begin forming from the instant a game is announced.

The start (often) on developer forums and on fan forums - and it's the standards set there, right from the very beginning, that shape your community.

Dev Comments and Moderator actions create good or bad commmunities sometimes years before a game even gets to Beta.



Pirates of the Burning Sea by Flying lab Software:

I joined that community more than a year before the Beta and it was already pretty horrible.  Fanbois were running amok and the phases "teh DEVs no best" and "STFU and go back to WOW" were common.

When the SOE deal was announced a Mod called Danicia appeared who was a complete idiot and was both played (and openly sided with) several Fanbois.

From then on the technique of "Fanboi Flame and Lock" was perfected buy the 'community' there.  Any thread that dared to question any element of design would get a post from a Fanboi saying "this thread should be locked." which was then followed by Fanbois subtly flaming the OP until the OP would be goaded to respond... at which point the tread would be locked.

It was a technique that they attempted to bring to the boards too - but failed here because the moderator staff (at that time) were better and didn't fall for it.

At the same time some of the Dev blogs were very short sighted and supported the general tone.

The end result was a Beta where actual problems with the game design were suppressed by "Fanboi Forum Ganking" and a community was created where this was an acceptable standard. 

So when the game went live... guess what?  The same standards prevailed in game becuse the community had come to believe this was acceptable.


The PotBS community moved on to another community with a bad reputation at the time... Darkfall... and again a lack of standards there certainly didn't help.


WAR at the time made a classic mistake of not having Dev forums (IIRC?) and allowing fans to create the comminity for them... another gankfest IIRC?


I also play a Browser based MMO at the moment where the Devs have lost interest and the game is pretty much run by a "Super-Moderator" who is openly biased in favour of a few friends... it is destroying the community and the game.



On the positive side a well run community with high standards can be a pleasure.  WWIIoL community as an example.

There is a hardcore RvR game - but with very little 'hate' simply because that attitude was not accepted by the Developers, the moderators and hence the community.  So you had an RvR game where players would have friendly discussions about what was good for the game with their 'enemies'.


You tend to find IMHO that standards filter down.  If Devs accept (or create) rifts in the community, by siding with 'old timers' and friends, allowing double standards or favouring "premium" accounts for example.   Allowing flaming, trolling, spamming (posting cat memes is a classic example) and outright internet bullying then the Mods will allow it... and the community will grow to accept it as normal behaviour.

Locking threads and banning users is not always the answer either.  That doesn't really help shape anything. 


Incidently, you find the same things in forum communities without games too (such as forums).  A dizzy modererator or two can really do some damage in the long term.

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/08
Posts: 134

2/18/13 7:54:52 PM#39

I do think your definition of a bad community is off. I've been PC gaming since Quake 1 was released and the best communities I've been apart of are the PvP oriented ones. Planetside 1, EQ1, DAoC, WAR, and Darkfall. Certainly it's a different civility in EQ1 than in Darkfall, but the community itself was more or less the same. There's respect for the incredibly good a-holes while also respect for the best crafter in PvP games. 


For me, community comes straight down to the people and the game is mostly not important. I'd argue that Quake2 xCTF was the best community of any game I've ever played because of the people, and 15 years later I have more contact with those individuals than any game I've played. I also think that age plays a major factor in community, and for me this may be more of a personal opinion. The reason I dislike the WoW community because they tend to be younger(under 20) and very full of themselves. They all seem to think they're the best, meanwhile have no means to prove it. That's also why I believe the best years of WoW were pre-BC when it still contained the former players of DAoC, UO, EQ, etc. I think the same reason is why people feel the EVE community has turned for the worst, because the game is now flooded with the casual younger crowd. I think PvP games, or even 'Hard-core' games tend to attract a more mature crowd because they require more thought generally.  With the mature crowd comes the community of intellect, IMO.


If this is going to be about specific games, then I'd probably put DAoC at the top. It's the only game that I've played throughout the years that created a community by design. It created factions that mattered and the people you played with were all you knew at the start. Later on with transfers and such it lost a bit of the community part of the game, but the communities stuck together because of the game design. You needed your allies, whereas most other games solo was a viable option and you could simply 'tag-a-long' to continue playing the game.


I think you should write an article on why recent games have failed so miserably to create these communities. A particular game has staying power only if the community behind it is strong. 




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"Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering" -Master Yoda

2/18/13 8:16:37 PM#40

A good topic for an article. Unfortunately the OP doesn't seem to understand the meaning of a community. 

If he did, he would know it takes communication to make a community work. Positive communication that is. Games like Rift and GW2 promote teamwork yes, but they do not however promote communication. I played both games for extended periods of time and more times than not, players rush in to join in on the XP, but then vanish just as quickly as they arrived without a single word exchanged.

Early online gaming communities were not like this because devs did not cater to the type of gamer that demanded "instant reward" for less time spent to achieve it. As a result back then, gamers knew in order to accomplish achievements that required more time to accomplish, one had to use a certain ammount of social skill.

These days, since most games allow for little time spent to grant rewards, many gamers don't feel obligated to use little if any amount of social skills. 


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