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Are guild websites/forums becoming a thing of the past?

KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,981Member Uncommon

Back when I first started playing MMORPG's, the guilds I belonged to all had websites/forums, much as they do today.

But it seems to me the traffic on them was much greater, with most of the guild members at least stopping by to check them out regularly, even if they didn't post much.  (and they were almost always full of new posts on a regular basis)

But lately (the last 5 years or so) it seems they sort of are falling out of favor.  Every guild has one it seems, but the for the most part my observation is very few people actively use them. 

I know the (fairly large, long term) guild I'm currently in has a Facebook site the draws away traffic, and of course voice coms helps facilitate daily communications sucha raid info and what not.

So, just like the US post office, image is the importance of guild websites and forums gradually diminishing? Heck, would it even bother you to be part of a guild that didn't have a website/forums, as long as they had proper voice chats and what not? 

Why do you suppose this is happening, what's really changed. Is people's attention focused on other communication vehicles or is the written word just falling out of favor.

 

 

In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
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Comments

  • AliceKayeAliceKaye Flemington, NJPosts: 838Member Common

    I'm a big forum user and prefer for my guilds to keep up to date via our guild website. I will NOT invite someone if they give me a hard time over signing up and utilization, honestly. I think it's important for people to be up to date on things and a website is the easiest way to do it.

    But I've noticed a lot of whiners in this department over the last few years and ... well, I don't like it, honestly.

  • Odinthedark1Odinthedark1 Linden, NJPosts: 330Member

    Surprisngly i dont think so, almost all hardcore raid/pvp guilds have websites, and even some casual ones do...but its more so for guilds that actually make events for their guild members i would think. a boring guild that does nothing together wouldnt need one.

  • AthisioAthisio spring, PAPosts: 72Member

    Haven't used guild forums / website in a few years. Every game now a days offers a MOTD. If there is a raid or something and you don't mention it on the MOTD then you obviously didn't want me to take part. Doing the whole sign up for slots nonsense is way to convoluted for something like playing a video game.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,773Member Uncommon

    Official game forums and later wikis ended up taking a lot of the traffic that would previously have gone to guild forums.

    There's also the issue that in most games, guilds don't really serve any purpose for most players other than as a chat channel.

  • jadedlevirjadedlevir Kansas, AKPosts: 628Member

    Well they don't really serve a purpose in most mmo's. Voip is a much easier form of communication. Forums become  more important in games(or "hardcore" guilds) where you would need to discuss things, but they're usually just decorative. Something to make the guild seem more legit. You can keep people up to date using what vent or teamspeak 3 offers, or even the game itself.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,643Member Uncommon

    GuildPortal, GuildLaunch and Enjin are bigger than they have ever been.  While many gamers have taken to individual blogs due to the convenience of Wordpress, Blogger, Flickr, etc, many guilds have moved toward the growing portals as a turnkey solution to setting up and maintaining a fully featured site. Guild sites are alive and well, just more centralized.

     

     

    In the above graph from Alexa.com, you can see that some of these sites are as popular as some of the biggest  gaming news sites in terms of reach.

    What has declined are, as Quizzical pointed out, the the player created guides, wikis, tutorials, etc as the main sites often offer these. The decline isn't as bad as it might seem, though, as a good portion of it hasn't disappeared but just shifted over into the blogging sites, YouTube and other social media channels.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
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  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    Look at the evolution of mmorpgs. Most things are soloable. If you do need a group you never need more than 10 people anymore. What do u need a website for. Text your close friends and get on mumble and down the biggest baddest boss.



    I hope the sarcasm is clear.

    I loved the 40 man raids and i enjoy playing sandbox games with large groups of people. Looking forward to pvp in gw2. but honestly. What is massive about mmorpgs anymore. Hell what is rpg about them as well. Lol.
  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member

    The best guilds I've been in all had guild forums. At the very least, if was usefull to openly track DKP for guilds that used that loot system.

     

    It was also a good way for people to discuss things that most guildies would miss in guild/vent chat because they were off-line or busy playing to see guild chat. So there was a game aspect to it as well as a fun social aspect to it as well.

     

    Finally, as a class leader officer, I used our class forum to help keep players in my class up to date on enchants, gear uopgrade, etc.

     

    My last guild didn't think having a forum was nesessary, and it turned out to be the WORST GUILD EVER....  

  • rutaqrutaq somerville, MAPosts: 428Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by gravesworn
    Look at the evolution of mmorpgs. Most things are soloable. If you do need a group you never need more than 10 people anymore. What do u need a website for. Text your close friends and get on mumble and down the biggest baddest boss. I hope the sarcasm is clear. I loved the 40 man raids and i enjoy playing sandbox games with large groups of people. Looking forward to pvp in gw2. but honestly. What is massive about mmorpgs anymore. Hell what is rpg about them as well. Lol.

     

    I agree,  MMOs have lost thier way.  The game released recenty are just RPGs with a Lobby and mostly ignored CO-OP mode.

  • SaintPhilipSaintPhilip Bree, MIPosts: 713Member

    Interesting responses and I have noticed this trend as well. Yes, part of it is certainly that MMORPG's are not really Massive (nor RPG's lol) and most things are soloable- But also the player base has changed.

    Maybe I am getting Old (no Maybe about it) but I blame texting and the dumbing down of our language. I even think Forums as a whole seem to be dying . I see more and more 1 word posts and far less thought being put into an attempt to voice an opinion. I am actually quite impressed with this Forum and its people (for the most part) but I think we are a minority.

    The Forum used to be a large part of the gaming experience and nessasary for organization, Voting and voicing ones opinion. The last Guld I helped to run had a forum and hardly anyone participated. "Just tell s whats going on in chat." seemed to be the thought without taking into consideration that we would have to continue to repeat ourselves to everyone who logged in. Joining the Forum was nessasary to be a part of the Guild but generally people applied for membership, joinedf the Forum and never logged in again.

    Its actually quite sad but is very much a statement of the times and the games we have availible- Nothing complex enough to need discussion and no organization really needed since everything is soloable (for the most part) and the Guild Forum seems only used by the Hardest of the Hardcore .

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon

    I've been playing mmorpg's since Ultima Online, Honestly, I really don't like using guild websites. In the large guilds I've been in I sign up and never return to the site. My own guild atm, a huge pvp guild and I never visit the site. Any information on events for the guild are usually posted in guild messages and talked about constanly in vent and guild chat. I really don't see the purpose for guild websites other than "Look at how awesome our site is". I've found we have found much better people by grouping up with them instead of just talking to them and making them fill out a questionaire on our website.

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  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,604Member Uncommon

    Guilds just aren't needed these days, given the soloability of present-day MMOs.  Thank god, too!  Guilds seem to be full of people constantly whining for someone to power-level them, and pleading for someone to give them gear.  Then there's the little cliques and the never-ending, trivial dramas that plague guilds.  It's bloody annoying just watching it in Guild Chat, never mind going to a website and having to read all the mindless babble and posturing.  Thanks, but no thanks.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by rutaq
    Originally posted by gravesworn
    Look at the evolution of mmorpgs. Most things are soloable. If you do need a group you never need more than 10 people anymore. What do u need a website for. Text your close friends and get on mumble and down the biggest baddest boss. I hope the sarcasm is clear. I loved the 40 man raids and i enjoy playing sandbox games with large groups of people. Looking forward to pvp in gw2. but honestly. What is massive about mmorpgs anymore. Hell what is rpg about them as well. Lol.

     

    I agree,  MMOs have lost thier way.  The game released recenty are just RPGs with a Lobby and mostly ignored CO-OP mode.

    I agree with this too.  There is no sense of community in or out of the games really.  Even in guilds in these themepark games, people split off into little cliques and hang out in vent, ignoring the rest of the guild.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • SaintPhilipSaintPhilip Bree, MIPosts: 713Member
    Originally posted by Tayah

    I've been playing mmorpg's since Ultima Online, Honestly, I really don't like using guild websites. In the large guilds I've been in I sign up and never return to the site. My own guild atm, a huge pvp guild and I never visit the site. Any information on events for the guild are usually posted in guild messages and talked about constanly in vent and guild chat. I really don't see the purpose for guild websites other than "Look at how awesome our site is". I've found we have found much better people by grouping up with them instead of just talking to them and making them fill out a questionaire on our website.

    You are in the majority.

    The problem (as I see it) is that talking in vent to express your ideas only tells those logged in at that time. In a forum you can post and your post will give your thoughts on X problem/event/whatever for all to see and for a conversation to flow even while you are offline.

    Only those currently online will know Tayah's opinion on X, where a Forum would allow for everyone to understand your stance without repeating yourself.

    I understand your reasoning and yes, lately Forums are pretty unimportant due to the complexity (lack thereof) of most games. But even so, not always. 

    But as stated, your feelings are the norm. If it isnt spoken in Vent it must not really matter.

  • CyclopsSlayerCyclopsSlayer Minneapolis, MNPosts: 532Member

    In theory the guild has/had 200 some members at one point. But from reading the forums you would thnk it was only 5 or 6 people.

     

    Sign up for an event? HAH!

    Most of these tools can barely ever be bothered to use voice-comm, even if they don't speak they could listen, right? Not a chance...

    Hard not to cry when they say "Oh do we have a website??"  Completely disregarding the MOTD that they see every day.

  • AthisioAthisio spring, PAPosts: 72Member
    Originally posted by SaintPhilip

    Interesting responses and I have noticed this trend as well. Yes, part of it is certainly that MMORPG's are not really Massive (nor RPG's lol) and most things are soloable- But also the player base has changed.

    Maybe I am getting Old (no Maybe about it) but I blame texting and the dumbing down of our language. I even think Forums as a whole seem to be dying . I see more and more 1 word posts and far less thought being put into an attempt to voice an opinion. I am actually quite impressed with this Forum and its people (for the most part) but I think we are a minority.

    The Forum used to be a large part of the gaming experience and nessasary for organization, Voting and voicing ones opinion. The last Guld I helped to run had a forum and hardly anyone participated. "Just tell s whats going on in chat." seemed to be the thought without taking into consideration that we would have to continue to repeat ourselves to everyone who logged in. Joining the Forum was nessasary to be a part of the Guild but generally people applied for membership, joinedf the Forum and never logged in again.

    Its actually quite sad but is very much a statement of the times and the games we have availible- Nothing complex enough to need discussion and no organization really needed since everything is soloable (for the most part) and the Guild Forum seems only used by the Hardest of the Hardcore .

     Good post it does cover a decent part of issue but there is still things not mentioned. The gaming/mmo community has changed drastically. Back in EQ1 i would be on forums and be very active trying to do the raid/dungeon stuff. Now a days i don't bother. Simply because the gaming community is becoming more and more full of... i believe the term i read somewhere on here was "Spreadsheet player"  if your not X with X you don't get a spot in the dungeon/raid group. Back then you saw another Paladin doing better and you wanted to be better because you saw someone doing very well. The way things are now that doesn't happen because the second your seen for not doing as good you have joe blow X analyzing  your gear/skills and telling you your mom slept with mr rogers.

    TLDR - The communities in mmo's lately are making playing more like a job then a actually "playing" and scold you severly for not being up to there standards.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by Dibdabs

    Guilds just aren't needed these days, given the soloability of present-day MMOs.  Thank god, too!  Guilds seem to be full of people constantly whining for someone to power-level them, and pleading for someone to give them gear.  Then there's the little cliques and the never-ending, trivial dramas that plague guilds.  It's bloody annoying just watching it in Guild Chat, never mind going to a website and having to read all the mindless babble and posturing.  Thanks, but no thanks.

    The Guild game mechanic is not the reason for these problems.  If you ever get a chance to play an MMORPG that has emphasis on community and teamwork, you will quickly notice something.  In games like this, you get more mature, intelligent and cooperative players who are looking for a community and team gameplay, and you get a better mix of different types of people rather than just kiddish combat-punks with egos and a sense of entitlement the size of a house.

    Make no mistake about it.  The design and attitude of these modern themeparks attracts the kinds of people who build guilds like the one you described.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    I've been MMOing since Ultima and I gotta tell ya, I never ever made use of guild websites and forums. Ever.

    That would entail reading what people have to say. That takes time. Time I could be spending killing things and leveling up and/or making money and/or talking to people INGAME during a raid and/or crafting and/or etc etc etc etc.

    Every guild I've ever belonged to had a site/forum, and I've been a part of some guilds for years at a time. I don't know what any of their websites ever looked like, but we were all plenty familiar with each other ingame, and we had each other's e-mails and skype (when it came to be, obviously). That's always been more than enough for me.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • PsychowPsychow SF Giants Territory, CAPosts: 1,784Member
    Originally posted by SaintPhilip
    Originally posted by Tayah

    I've been playing mmorpg's since Ultima Online, Honestly, I really don't like using guild websites. In the large guilds I've been in I sign up and never return to the site. My own guild atm, a huge pvp guild and I never visit the site. Any information on events for the guild are usually posted in guild messages and talked about constanly in vent and guild chat. I really don't see the purpose for guild websites other than "Look at how awesome our site is". I've found we have found much better people by grouping up with them instead of just talking to them and making them fill out a questionaire on our website.

    You are in the majority.

    The problem (as I see it) is that talking in vent to express your ideas only tells those logged in at that time. In a forum you can post and your post will give your thoughts on X problem/event/whatever for all to see and for a conversation to flow even while you are offline.

    Only those currently online will know Tayah's opinion on X, where a Forum would allow for everyone to understand your stance without repeating yourself.

    I understand your reasoning and yes, lately Forums are pretty unimportant due to the complexity (lack thereof) of most games. But even so, not always. 

    But as stated, your feelings are the norm. If it isnt spoken in Vent it must not really matter.

     

    Yeah, repeating things over and over to people who just logged on is a biggie.

     

    I don't think players who have never been officers / raid leader truely understand what it's like to plan and organze a raid (It's easier now that the size have becomne smaller). To them, they only have to show up. They don't need to worry about other people's schedules, making sure there are enough tanks, heals, comsumables, etc. They don't have to worry that Mrbubble the holy paladin won't be on tonight so you'd better get another healer. And they certainly don't need to lern the fight themselves. They just wait for the raid leader to tell them what to do.

     

     

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran

    So, just like the US post office, image is the importance of guild websites and forums gradually diminishing? Heck, would it even bother you to be part of a guild that didn't have a website/forums, as long as they had proper voice chats and what not? 

    Why do you suppose this is happening, what's really changed. Is people's attention focused on other communication vehicles or is the written word just falling out of favor.

    I think it really depends on the guild.

    For most guilds, there's just not a lot of reason to frequent the forums. Most guilds aren't based around building a community, and are more a tight knit group of members that want to play the same games / tackle the same challenging content.

    As such for most guilds the website gets used primarily as a recruitment tool, a calendar, and as a place where people post suggestions every now and then for future events. It's basically a tool for organizing guild events, but nothing more.

    Then you have some of the larger guilds, that are built more around building a community, and their forums are still very much active. This is because they do more than just talk guild bs. There's theorycrafting, suggestions, podcasts, all kinds of stuff that bring people together to socialize more often.

  • CheriseCherise Cincinnati, OHPosts: 232Member

    Maybe it just seems that way because there are so many more guilds these days?  While I do see see some empty forums for some guilds, others are pretty busy.  And sometimes it boils down to the type of guild and how much activity the guild leader and officers put into the forums.  They set the example and can help get others posting.

    Our guild's site is extremely valuable to us and personally I wouldn't join a guild if they didn't have a website.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Official game forums and later wikis ended up taking a lot of the traffic that would previously have gone to guild forums.

    There's also the issue that in most games, guilds don't really serve any purpose for most players other than as a chat channel.

    and also keep in mind the growing trend of hackers in the MMO genre. MMOs are what made me look into Antivirus and stuff like that.

     

    I dont want to be forced to go to somebody's strange URL website. I dont care if its guild related or not. Thats another chance for hackers to get to your account with virus.

    image

  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,299Member Uncommon

    I'm not a real forum troll *looks the the post count for confirmation*, but our kinship/guild (yes originating from LotRo) still has it's website & forum up & running and it's quite active (50+ new posts a day). Well, we're with 200+ members on 4 MMORPG's and a couple of semi-real guild-devisions (LoL, D3 and a couple of those). I myself hop by every other day to see what's new and reply from time to time on the kin/guild forum, but am not real active (anymore).

    On the other side, I've been in a few EQ2 & VG guilds, all with their own forum, and if those had 1 message a week it was almost considered SPAM ;)

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  • krondinkrondin tallapoosa, GAPosts: 103Member Uncommon

    Guild communications will continue to evolve into newer types of uses, making websites within the games themselves accesable inside or ourtside the game.

     

    I believe within a few years many new games will have guild and player "social media" places built in. SO everything a website is currently used for will actually get more use in the near future due to increased ease of accesability within the games themselves. This should coincide with the increase of virtual world type open enviroments to game in and thru.

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    The secret world has a built in browser and most games can be used by xfire or steam and they have broswers. Then you have in gamr coms. Teamspeak vent and mumble. And mmorpg has overwolf. With phones and all these devices... If you have to rely on forum flow to get info out to your guildmates you may be behind times a bit. I can get a hold of my gaming friends easier now than when we just had a forum.


    Not trying to offend or discount forums. They just happen to be like cds. They are there they work but there are not necessary.
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