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

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80 posts found
  VichusSmith

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/20/08
Posts: 23

I''m the guy who's standing behind you!

2/18/13 9:28:03 PM#41
I was seriously going to make a Dan Harmon joke. Oh well!

There's nothing more gratifying than playing an MMO for free.

  Beatnik59

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2244

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

2/18/13 11:52:57 PM#42

I've given a lot of thought to these issues of community.  To tell you the truth, I honestly don't think we're going to have a game community the likes of the early games any time soon.

Teamspeak/Ventrillo/Skype killed the concept of the cosmopolitan MMO.  The metrics are rather stable in this regard: one third of gamers won't team without access to voice, one third of gamers refuse to use voice apps, and the remaining third doesn't care.  It's hard to have a community if you refuse to communicate in the way that someone else does.

This has caused people to think of their community as centered around the guild over the game.  The guild's social hubs, forums and voice server (if applicable), are all the social hubs today's player seems to want or need.  It used to be that players would start a game as individuals, and then form guilds naturally in the course of play.  These days, however, the players come to games already in a guild.  Why care about anyone else when you already have everyone--and everything--you need?

In fact, guilds establish themselves in games even before the games launch.  Players have self-selected their community, and the goal seems to be to get in a position where the guild can function as a community unto itself. 

This has a lot to do with the games themselves.  These days, the games gate group slots, gate content, and put a high premium on hard to acquire loot.  None of the features in a game like World of Warcraft are amicable to gaming with strangers who are entitled to make mistakes.  These days, the games promote efficiency over community; there is just too much to risk when you work outside your comfort zone, with people you don't know well.

Now the best community I found in an MMO was City of Heroes.  The key to its success, in my opinion, was that it didn't penalize players from taking chances.  You could group with anyone, regardless of level, and do pretty much any activity, regardless of setup.  It was the easiest--simply the best--grouping system I found.  People grouped with you--regardless of guild, voice chat use, or playstyle. 

And not only that, but it allowed people a ton of opportunities for self-expression: from costumes, to player written content, to playstyles, to player architecture.  It encouraged diversity which, to me, is an important aspect of community as well.  There's no sense of being in a cosmopolitan community if we can't create something unique from ourselves, and there's no point in being ourselves if we have to bury our preferences for the sake of efficiency.

 

__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  Matticus75

Novice Member

Joined: 10/18/05
Posts: 393

2/19/13 12:42:10 AM#43
What makes a good community are huuuugs, and "you can do it!" and "hi we are all happy your back!" and more huuuugs, yeah!
  Rossboss

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/10
Posts: 241

2/19/13 1:14:41 AM#44
Originally posted by wormywyrm
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...?

 

You missed the part where I said they were not mutually exclusive. I was just laying out what I thought to be the two extremes of MMORPG players. I think to have a good community, it takes both good players and bad players to make a level playing field for all to enjoy. Trolls and End-gamers are not so simply described as being good and bad players. I know players who are well geared and know their classes like no one else does that are also the biggest and most annoying trolls. I also know players who are kind souls and have awful gear and know nothing of their class. I've met people from every bit of the spectrum in-between the two as well.

 

You can think of MMORPGs as a game like Baseball. Players are ranked on their stats and skill levels, the best ones make it to the Big League and the rest fall off the radar. The Big League players are the end-game players. The trolls and people not as committed usually fall off the radar. The most notable players are always the ones with the most skill or the most public exposure. I'm not saying these are always going to happen or that I want this to happen, but this is what I have observed.

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.

  Volenibblets

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/08/12
Posts: 201

2/19/13 2:13:37 AM#45

 After playing a number of games over the years where either a) you need other people and the community was made up of venomous, entitled, spoiled rodents (wow) or b) games where the community didn't matter a toss to progress and other players might as well be NPCs in an offline game (GW2), I think I'm starting to understand what makes a good community. IMO, It's best seen in LOTRO (I can only speak for the Snowbourne server).

1. Respect, humour and basic human kindness - Higher levels giving up a lot of their time to help randomer non-kinnies is the norm. Virtually ever time I group, it's packed full of funny, intelligent people who are considerate about loot and quest items and it is the norm for people to stay far longer than they need to be there so you can finish your stuff and rarely bitch when there's a careless wipe. Obviously, you get the odd nobhead who has temporarily borrowed/stolen his older brothers login ID until he gets it banned or finds out it's not like wow and ragequits, however, absolute gents are the standard in my experience.

2. Maturity - part of point one. Whilst, in general, LOTRO undoubtedly has an older audience (as it's slower, more cerebral pace doesn't cater for the MTV generation of 'gimme, gimme, gimme, now, now, now!'), I have learned it's not an age thing but a maturity thing as even younger peeps seem to understand point one. 

3. A game that is not predicated on or rewarded for vicious one-up-man-ship and gear hoarding - obviously it does have an end game tier grind but for some reason (with a few exceptions) the people I come across are more concerned with enjoying the world and getting on with/helping others that spending their time doing that.  

It's not the best coded game in the world (buggy, long load times, awkward animations) and some of the questing structure leaves a lot to be desired but it's the community that keeps me there and grouping is a pleasure rather than a necessary chore. And, I think the structure/nature of the game both attracts and cultivates these features in players. Lot to be learned in that imo. My only complaint about LOTRO is that it only allows a 50 person friends list which was maxed out in a the first month and I keep having to delate older gents to make way for newer nice people.  

 
  Tenebrion

Novice Member

Joined: 9/08/06
Posts: 186

2/19/13 2:18:56 AM#46

This female appears to be much less attention-starved than pokket, and is much kinder on the eyes.

Tenebrion is pleased.


Content Writer for RTSGuru.com
And overall bitter old man.

  FARGIN_WAR

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/12
Posts: 169

2/19/13 2:51:17 AM#47
Originally posted by Seshat

Hello,

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.

 

Well then I'd like to offer my apologies for being a dick to you Christina. However I still hold the position that whomever on this site thought that using a picture of such cold blooded murderers as a bit of humor was ok, could use a swift kick in the butt.

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

  firefly2003

Novice Member

Joined: 1/16/08
Posts: 2580

I miss you Star Wars Galaxies...:(

2/19/13 3:24:19 AM#48
[mod edit]
  daemon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/04/04
Posts: 690

From all the things I''ve lost I miss my mind the most.

2/19/13 4:55:17 AM#49
Originally posted by MikeB
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

beautiful writer :p

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19398

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

2/19/13 5:14:39 AM#50
[mod edit]

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"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

  jpnz

Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 3565

2/19/13 5:31:42 AM#51

A good 'MMO' community is one that exists outside of the MMO community rather than formed within that single MMO.

Gives people other ways to connect and a desire to stay within that community; less drama.

Gdemami -
Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  Jayaris

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/08
Posts: 340

Hi

2/19/13 6:25:13 AM#52

[mod edit]

Hi

  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1853

2/19/13 6:39:23 AM#53
A good community would not have anyone from the internet in it. Also, it would not have anyone from humanity in it. Maybe an MMO for dogs.
  Chopgobble

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/08
Posts: 3

2/19/13 7:34:52 AM#54

1.Great incentive to work together, In Asherons call it was free passup exp from vassels,community is the best of any mmo i have ever played.People jump at the chance to help and get you flaged cause they benefit a ton from helping you.

2.Fierce competition and freedom to attack and destroy the work of others brings out the worse of players, that community will have highly unfriendly and toxic sections of community but a lot of people play games for just this reason the fear of being attacked and a competitive environment . In order for this to work and have a good community being a douche needs to be punished severely.

  ThaddeusPL

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/15/12
Posts: 12

2/19/13 8:09:29 AM#55

First: Look at communities 5-8 years ago, whey want to play and change games. Now game companies have all the players deep in a*s. Player/Gamer is only a moneymaker for next DLC or next SAME game ( look at Crysis 3 - no new ideas just same crap like in Crysis 2). If we dont vote for good games in ours vallets, we never get a good games. Screw EA, Blizzard  ano others "big game developers" who only make a next part of old games. Player/Gamer knows which game is good or bad, dont believe in advertisement..

*I know my english is not perfect but is not my first language.

  Gyrus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/20/07
Posts: 2323

2/19/13 8:23:41 AM#56
Originally posted by Jayaris

The creepiness rating on this thread is fucking unreal, and staff members joining in as well. 

....

Sort of backs up my post doesn't it?  ;-)

Nothing says irony like spelling ideot wrong.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/19/13 8:38:56 AM#57
Originally posted by Czanrei

Unfortunately the OP doesn't seem to understand the meaning of a community.

Seems like there are as many meanings as there are people. Huh, go figure. Have you not noticed the fifty insular little viewpoints prior to yours? All different?

I wish the op luck, grasping the indefinable. But I suspect, like most of us, he can't/won't grasp any concept of 'community' that's terribly different from his own (as exemplified by his own personal favorite past game).

By all means, let's watch what his efforts turn up.

 

But try to define what a similar conceptual, say "Family" means, just within a single culture, and how many different ways it can be explained and expressed--yet, in the end, no two are identical.

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.

  znaiika

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 203

2/19/13 9:44:15 AM#58

It's all sarts in your family, realy, good and bad.

On the net they show true nature of self and respect to others.

People tend to rulle over each other, those who have more power rulles, and those who, well can't? make a bad community.

  cybertrucker

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 1135

Freeloading mooches are the scourge of the gaming community.

2/19/13 10:22:21 AM#59
What makes for a good community? Well in my opinion people coming together to help one another helps to build communities. People talking and chatting and overall being social helps build communities.
 
Most games these days are designed these days to cater to the solo crowd. They are also designed    Around the philosophy that everyone has to be rewarded, which has lead to enforcing the ME ME ME mentality. In older games while people still wanted to advance their characters they spent a lot of their time coming together to overcome challenges for other people instead of themselves. Entire raids would be  coordinated to help one member of a a guild achieve something they have been working towards. 
 
Wow had this in the eary days even. It's just now something that is no longer there for the most part.   The games throw out loot for everyone.  If it doesnt. People seem to have no interest in participating. 
  Ortwig

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1067

2/19/13 10:32:13 AM#60
Originally posted by infiniti70

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.

Think I agree here.  TSW has a bit of a learning curve, and chat in the starter zone is always buzzing with questions as people are getting started.  The thing is, that has brought a lot lot helpful posts there as well, lots of people pitching in as well as just general chatting.  It's not always perfect, but I think the initial difficulty has sparked a friendlier community.

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