Where is the community?

General
I recently started playing again after a 7 or 8 year break. In the past I've been raiding in a semi-casual guild that was pretty succesfull in Classic, TBC and WOTLK, but I quit after reaching level 85. Starting again after all these years gives a great perspective in all the things that changed since the last time I've played.

In my opinion a lot of things turned out to be better gamingwise. I enjoy questing more, espcially the different story lines, the cutscenes and voiced characters also give a better gaming experience. The biggest change, however, is not in gaming experience but in community.

I've been playing on the Alliance side of Kor'gall ever since the server went live in 2005. With its ups and downs there always was a playerbase which knew each other fairly well, there were some 'big' raiding or pvp guilds that were known on both sides, plus there were some great realm discussions on the realm forums.

After coming back I noticed:
1) Battlegroups aren't only a matter of PvP anymore but they're visible in guilds/world as well.
2) There barely is any communication between players anymore.
3) Faction balancing is completely gone which caused old communities to scatter across other realms.
4) Realmforums are dead.

Battlegroups aren't only a matter of PvP anymore but they're visible in guilds/world as well.
At first I thought this was a cool idea to make a realm look more alive. But as I see it now this is just a way of treating the symptoms rather than the actual problems that face dead realms. I noticed this in two ways:
- While trying to get my old guildname back on the realm, I noticed charters cannot be signed by people on other realms in the same battlegroup. This diminishes the experience of a fuller realm.
- It's harder to /who and /friend people. Usually goes along with '0 people show

There barely is any communication between players anymore.
Questing has been made easier.
Does anyone still remember the first days in vanilla where every minute people would ask for directions to find Hogger? Nowaydays it is possible to solo the most 'difficult' quest bosses. But to be fair, you could argue this was already the case in WOTLK. Bottom line is: you don't need other players anymore besides dungeons and raids.

(Dungeon) group dynamics have changed
I think this dates back to TBC, but I noticed in all of my dungeon groups I've been in so far that communication between players is not a standard. Several groups wouldn't even start out with a little 'hi'. Or have I just grown old? ;)

I cannot really say anything about major cities yet, because I have not experienced max level.

Faction balancing is completely gone which caused old communities to scatter across other realms.
I remember serveral attempts by Blizzard in the past to balance factions. But if I look at several realms right now it looks like PvE realms are dominated by Alliance and PvP realms are dominated by Horde. It has been one of the reasons why my old guild left Kor'gall: It was impossible to grind for resources or to recruit new players. I tried to look into Blizzard's response to the balancing issue, but could not really fine one. I think its weird that while this has been an ongoing issue for years, Blizzard expects € 25,- euros per character to solve it.

And because migrations have not been 'regulated' groups scatter over different realms, people stay behind and servers continue to become more empty.

Realmforums are dead.
This issue is pretty self explanatory. I remember fueds between guilds were on the forum, discussions of special events and all kinds of other stuff was discussed alongside of Recruitmentposts. At this point nothing is really going on besides recruitmentposts.

To sum things up
Bottomline of my issue is the following: if I compare my gaming experience now compared to 8 years ago I notice that Blizzard has worked on improving the technical side of the gaming experience. If I could make an analogy with a car: Blizzard improved the carseat, the engine and the driving experience altogether. But a major succes in my eyes was the community of WoW. The dedication and communication to tackle problems/bosses/quests together. I think WoW is starting to lose sight of the passengers in the car: the groups who made the ride more enjoyable.

Have there been noticable incentives to promote the community in game? If so: what incentives have there been?
Blizzard has been slowly killing the social aspects of wow, starting with group finder and sharding just to mention a few. There isn't a reason to socialize anymore.
Where is the community?

It died in 2009 unless you are in a decent guild.
Server communities have been dead for a very, very long time. I'm pretty much just holding out for vanilla WoW to get that feeling back.
Server communities have been dead for a very, very long time. I'm pretty much just holding out for vanilla WoW to get that feeling back.


I remember the dynamics changed a lot in TBC, after 40 man raiding made place for 10/25 man raiding. It sure was a guildkiller back then. But as I remember it that realms with a healthy population still had a decent community at least up until WOTLK.

But I share the sentiment. I enjoyed the community 'experience' in Vanilla WoW best.
Guys. Is a 12 years old game. Its a miracle that ppl continue to populate forum and the game.
My parents told me not to talk to strangers.
The community has died slowly since the cross realm Battlegrounds feature was released at the beginning of the game. Since then the feature has evolved to be involved in any activity in the game.

Before cross realm players were known on the server. You would either do something good to be liked or something bad to be disliked. If you did any of those two options you would be remembered and players would socialize with you if you did something good or ignore you if you did something bad. With cross realm all of this is forgotten because there is no one who would remember them on the server and players can behave as they wish.

Players are unfriendly and behave anti-socialized because of just this ”feature” the cross realm. When there is no one who would remember them, nothing stops them from behaving as such because they know they can get away with it.
Community was sacrificed on the altar of convenience.
19/04/2018 14:50Posted by Tèsla
Guys. Is a 12 years old game. Its a miracle that ppl continue to populate forum and the game.


It doesn't matter how old the game is. Millions of people are still playing it because it's still the best mmo out there (not like we are still playing the 13 year old version of the game), that's what matter, and that 70-80% of them became antisocial because of the antisocial options that Blizzard introduced.
19/04/2018 14:08Posted by Papudeath
Blizzard has been slowly killing the social aspects of wow, starting with group finder

Is Group Finder at fault for the random person sitting next to you on the Plane or in the Pub that don't want to talk to you?

19/04/2018 15:16Posted by Elinnor
Players are unfriendly and behave anti-socialized because of just this ”feature” the cross realm.

I'm unfriendly and anti-social because I don't have any interest in being friends with you, why can't that be an option?

But I get it, it's easier on you emotionally (you in general, not you specifically) to blame Cross Realms than it is yourself for others not wanting to talk to you.

But to be fair, I would do the exact same thing if I was looking to make friends in game and was unable to.
I think people need to consider some other things first.
People being less social because they no longer need to be is true.
But there are plenty of times you can be social in the game such as in dungeons but people chose not to.
Yes I know there is no reason to be social but that should say enough.
Before people were forced to be social and now that they are not forced they no longer are.
This tells me that people that play the game do not want to be social.
So to me it is better that people who do not want to be social are not forced to be.
Its quite interesting how even the biggest servers are now dead, especially the tradechat.

Most things i read there are either teenage kids making offensive jokes or "guildbots" doing a message every 15 seconds.
Part of the problem is how the game has been designed, and while I think blizzard has made several mis-steps there is the unfortunate reality is that at the time they didn't have better options or didn't quite understand the impact they would have.

For instance the removal of group quests: This happened before there was a reliable cross-realm group finder. At the time it was understandable, the game was heavily focused on end-game and it was rare to even find enough people in your level range to get a dungeon done, let alone enough people to help you do a quest in a specific zone.

What they could do now could be special elite bounty quests for those who want more challenging leveling content.

As for the LFD/LFR tools, these decimated the pug community for several reasons. 1. The convenience basically made manual group formations obsolete. Now in particular I think this, over time, made a lot of people very paranoid about trying to group with pugs, or interacting with pugs in general.

2. They were the main justification for the nerfing of LFD/LFR content. The result of this can largely be summarised by the old saying "If you dumb things down for fools you will only create a better class of fool". This, in further turn, also caused other problems but I'll stick with the social ones. As it stands, none of the content that you can queue for requires any communication at all, so people don't bother with it.

3. It cultivated bad attitudes in the playerbase. Because of reasons 1 and 2 above, a lot of very poor attitudes have been cultivated by the pug community. For instance, it's very common now for people to leave a group if the group wipes, regardless of reason. Now dungeons are seen as a rush to the end (not really helped by the mythic keystone system either) where often you're expected to know everything and crush everything, because they've had that for so long and frankly they've had nothing to challenge that perspective.

4. This one is speculation, but I think a lot of the design decisions blizzard have made have cultivated a particular demographic of player, that seems to do most of their gaming solo, never really care about anyone they group with and has little tollerance for failure or complexity.

Even as recently as WoD there was this entire demographic (for want of a better word) of player that was simply incapable of doing the simple requirement of silver proving grounds to unlock WoD heroics, and they infested normal dungeons to the point normal dungeons took longer than their heroic counterparts.

While this kind of player is inevitable in any MMO, it seems this is what blizzard wants from their players but this kind of player cannot build or sustain a community.
19/04/2018 14:05Posted by Deruyter
I recently started playing again after a 7 or 8 year break. In the past I've been raiding in a semi-casual guild that was pretty succesfull in Classic, TBC and WOTLK, but I quit after reaching level 85. Starting again after all these years gives a great perspective in all the things that changed since the last time I've played.

In my opinion a lot of things turned out to be better gamingwise. I enjoy questing more, espcially the different story lines, the cutscenes and voiced characters also give a better gaming experience. The biggest change, however, is not in gaming experience but in community.

I've been playing on the Alliance side of Kor'gall ever since the server went live in 2005. With its ups and downs there always was a playerbase which knew each other fairly well, there were some 'big' raiding or pvp guilds that were known on both sides, plus there were some great realm discussions on the realm forums.

After coming back I noticed:
1) Battlegroups aren't only a matter of PvP anymore but they're visible in guilds/world as well.
2) There barely is any communication between players anymore.
3) Faction balancing is completely gone which caused old communities to scatter across other realms.
4) Realmforums are dead.

Battlegroups aren't only a matter of PvP anymore but they're visible in guilds/world as well.
At first I thought this was a cool idea to make a realm look more alive. But as I see it now this is just a way of treating the symptoms rather than the actual problems that face dead realms. I noticed this in two ways:
- While trying to get my old guildname back on the realm, I noticed charters cannot be signed by people on other realms in the same battlegroup. This diminishes the experience of a fuller realm.
- It's harder to /who and /friend people. Usually goes along with '0 people show

There barely is any communication between players anymore.
Questing has been made easier.
Does anyone still remember the first days in vanilla where every minute people would ask for directions to find Hogger? Nowaydays it is possible to solo the most 'difficult' quest bosses. But to be fair, you could argue this was already the case in WOTLK. Bottom line is: you don't need other players anymore besides dungeons and raids.

(Dungeon) group dynamics have changed
I think this dates back to TBC, but I noticed in all of my dungeon groups I've been in so far that communication between players is not a standard. Several groups wouldn't even start out with a little 'hi'. Or have I just grown old? ;)

I cannot really say anything about major cities yet, because I have not experienced max level.

Faction balancing is completely gone which caused old communities to scatter across other realms.
I remember serveral attempts by Blizzard in the past to balance factions. But if I look at several realms right now it looks like PvE realms are dominated by Alliance and PvP realms are dominated by Horde. It has been one of the reasons why my old guild left Kor'gall: It was impossible to grind for resources or to recruit new players. I tried to look into Blizzard's response to the balancing issue, but could not really fine one. I think its weird that while this has been an ongoing issue for years, Blizzard expects € 25,- euros per character to solve it.

And because migrations have not been 'regulated' groups scatter over different realms, people stay behind and servers continue to become more empty.

Realmforums are dead.
This issue is pretty self explanatory. I remember fueds between guilds were on the forum, discussions of special events and all kinds of other stuff was discussed alongside of Recruitmentposts. At this point nothing is really going on besides recruitmentposts.

To sum things up
Bottomline of my issue is the following: if I compare my gaming experience now compared to 8 years ago I notice that Blizzard has worked on improving the technical side of the gaming experience. If I could make an analogy with a car: Blizzard improved the carseat, the engine and the driving experience altogether. But a major succes in my eyes was the community of WoW. The dedication and communication to tackle problems/bosses/quests together. I think WoW is starting to lose sight of the passengers in the car: the groups who made the ride more enjoyable.

Have there been noticable incentives to promote the community in game? If so: what incentives have there been?

Most people are on other messengers or in discord, instead of talking in WOW. When I play WOW I am usually in discord with 7 other friends and players. It is just much easier than trying to communicate in WOW.
19/04/2018 15:16Posted by Elinnor
The community has died slowly since the cross realm Battlegrounds feature was released at the beginning of the game. Since then the feature has evolved to be involved in any activity in the game.

Before cross realm players were known on the server. You would either do something good to be liked or something bad to be disliked. If you did any of those two options you would be remembered and players would socialize with you if you did something good or ignore you if you did something bad. With cross realm all of this is forgotten because there is no one who would remember them on the server and players can behave as they wish.

Players are unfriendly and behave anti-socialized because of just this ”feature” the cross realm. When there is no one who would remember them, nothing stops them from behaving as such because they know they can get away with it.


I don’t think WoW/Blizzard is to be blamed entirely, it seems the ‘thing’ now to be a total tool to someone over the internet.

Back when WoW was around people were rude don’t get me wrong, but at least people chatted and had a laugh, I still get the occasional chat but tbh most of the time I opt to do a mythic with a friend over solo just because it’s mind numbing with no chat..
Also...
Give me some rope.
Tie me to dream.
Give me the hope.
To run out of steam.
Somebody said it could be here.
We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year.
I cant count the reasons I should stay.
One by one they all just fade away.
I really miss the chat in zones people talking and looking for group/more to do something outside of raids and dungeons.

But it's dead everywhere, even on any of the 3 Argus zones not a single person talks exept for the rare guild advertisment that appears once in a while.

It just makes me feel sad because I know how it was long time ago, and how it should be in a mmorpg =(
19/04/2018 20:07Posted by Jurgenhan

Most people are on other messengers or in discord, instead of talking in WOW. When I play WOW I am usually in discord with 7 other friends and players. It is just much easier than trying to communicate in WOW.


I don't think that's the explanation. Before Discord was a thing people already talked to friends on Skype/Ventrillo, guildchat and in in-game private channels. The problem is not the fact that small social groups exist - which was a thing in the past as well - but the fact that the game itself seems to be less community driven nowadays.
I'm actually quite interested in peoples ideas to turn it around

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