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Demise of the MMO Communities

emistzemistz Miami, FLPosts: 54Member

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

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Comments

  • Quazal.AQuazal.A PrestonPosts: 498Member Uncommon

    Can i just say Eve - Online.. in response to your suggestion

     

    whilst yes i would agree a lot of MMO have crap communities, i know of a fair few that dont, for eg..

     

    eve online - Consistently the best community in ANY game ive played 

    TSW - Whislt only in game for 3days found teh community helpful and chatty

    I cannot comment on most games because i dont play lots of games. but sadly i do find that the so called "wow clones" dont ened a community other than guild because of the make up of the game

    This post is all my opinion, but I welcome debate on anything i have put, however, personal slander / name calling belongs in game :) were of course your welcome to call me names im often found lounging about in EvE online.
    Use this code for 21days trial in eve online https://secure.eveonline.com/trial/?invc=d385aff2-794a-44a4-96f1-3967ccf6d720&action=buddy

  • emistzemistz Miami, FLPosts: 54Member

    My heading was probably misleading.  What I meant was MMO Community as a sense of in-game community brought about but multiple people working together for the sake of having fun together. 

    I'm sure there are lots of games where the players are a fine community in the sense of helping noobs out in the forums, or giving free stuff, or answering questions in chat.  But that is not what I am aiming at here.

    As far as the EvE suggestion, I played EvE for  many years.  The game has the same problem.  People usually only group together when they are incentivised to, i.e. wormholes, gang roams, etc.  There is even people who have 2 or 3 accounts running just so that they can solo parts of the game that would otherwise call for a group.

    image

  • MibletMiblet BognerPosts: 333Member

    Back in the 'good old days' communities were relatively small.  Bad apples were weeded out through reputation.

    Now communities are huge, changing identities is easier than ever before and the games are more single player centric.  Too large to weed out the bad apples, to easy for them to create a new character if weeded out to begin again, and little interaction with others or need to improve.

    Some of it is social.  Some of it is game design.  Making the games easier and accessible made them more appealing to the masses however also lessened the need for a community to form.

     

    Either way communities are still there.  They have just changed to suit the newer landscape.  Where once you would socialise with a server, now you socialise with a guild and any you meet in pugs.  There are still nice and awful people about as before.

  • SlampigSlampig Chantilly, VAPosts: 2,376Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by emistz

    Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

    Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

    I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

    I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

    What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

    I group all the time. I also solo a lot as well. It depends on what I feel like doing on a given day. I think part of it is the console crowd that came over when these games got super popular. Most console players are used to playing solo. I don't think it is such a huge deal, at least not as huge a deal as these posts make it seem to be. It is all on the heads of the players.

    That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon

    O.P., the dysfunctional communities of today are 100% a symptom of bad game design, aimed at maximizing cash shop sales.

    When a decent game comes along, the community and customer loyalty will be there. Not sure how long til a game like that comes out. I wouldn't count on EQN, but I can still hope.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    I've always done the majority of my socializing on message boards rather than inside of games themselves.

  • ReallyNow10ReallyNow10 Pile It High Town, LAPosts: 2,010Member Common
    Originally posted by emistz

    Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

    Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

    I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

    I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

    What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

    The decline has been driven by the game design path (or detour) taken over the past ten years.  Combat was faster, downtime almost non-existent, soloing wholly viable, insta-grouping for dungeons, etc....  Really, no reason to talk, indeed, talking meant you were not spamming your attack buttons and could get you ragged on by your group.

    Design drives this.  And good design (and community) is coming back.

  • Shadowguy64Shadowguy64 Rohnert Park, CAPosts: 848Member
    95% of my socializing in-game has been within my guild/party/raid. There's always exceptions, but I never felt the desire to chat with everyone I happen to see in game.
  • TorgrimTorgrim GothenburgPosts: 2,088Member

    If it's possible to solo to max level then is what most people will do simple as that, only time people will group up is when a dungeon tier is coming up, at that point those soloplayers have no understanding how their class work in group play hence plenty of whipes and rage quits.

    When I say most people I don't mean everyone, sure there are people who like to group just for the sake of it, chatting,doing stuff together even if It's soloable, I'm one of those and I'm usually the one asking in chat for group formups even if the content for it is not needed.

     

     

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,281Member Uncommon

    It's the bad copy past games we've been playing. Everytime you make a copy of something a little is lost.

     

    This is another reason Wushu was a breath of fresh air. Wushu is so social, I wish I could block pm's at times. It's designed that way. Everyone needs someone for something throughout the day, not just now and then.

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by emistz

    I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

    You name one major reasons. If not for epeen, don't you think sites like Diabloprogress and wowprogress would be so popular?

    Also, i need other players to trade on AH.

    I need other players to pvp in battlegrounds.

    And i can benefit from an MMO without group play .. there are settings, gameplay mechanics and stuff like that i can enjoy. Other people are not required.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by emistz

    Is it just me [...]

    Its you.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • EtherignisEtherignis philadelphia, PAPosts: 246Member
    I like ffxiv arr community.
  • emistzemistz Miami, FLPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by emistz

    Is it just me [...]

    Its you.

    Ahh, can't believe I did not think of that!

    image

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by maplestone
    I've always done the majority of my socializing on message boards rather than inside of games themselves.


    What message board? I thought those went out of style during the crash of AOL in the late 90s.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Arclan

     


    Originally posted by maplestone
    I've always done the majority of my socializing on message boards rather than inside of games themselves.

     


    What message board? I thought those went out of style during the crash of AOL in the late 90s.

    This one?

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,758Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by w407309

    Can i just say Eve - Online.. in response to your suggestion

     

    whilst yes i would agree a lot of MMO have crap communities, i know of a fair few that dont, for eg..

     

    eve online - Consistently the best community in ANY game ive played 

    TSW - Whislt only in game for 3days found teh community helpful and chatty

    I cannot comment on most games because i dont play lots of games. but sadly i do find that the so called "wow clones" dont ened a community other than guild because of the make up of the game

     I dont see how a PVP game where other players can take your stuff can have a good community...Yeah some of the players may be nice but there are surely alot more who would steal your ship if you went to low sec....

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,558Member Uncommon
    There are to many critics and trolls and no place for a decent gamer to separate themselves from the whiny crowd.

  • mrrshann618mrrshann618 Waseca, MNPosts: 227Member Uncommon

    actually it is quite simple.

    I really do not have any real neighbors, I merely have people who live near me. Yeah sometimes I go over for a beer, but my schedule usually dictates that I go about my daily life doing what I need to do without them bothering me and me bothering them.

    Gone are the days of "neighborhood cookouts", Gone are the days when you can grow an "unprotected" apple tree in your back yard without having some jackhole harvesting the apples early thus ruining your crop.

    MMO's have merely gone the route of the Real World, and your surprised?

    Play what you Like. I like SWOTR, Have a referral to get you going!
    -->  http://www.swtor.com/r/nBndbs  <--
    Several Unlocks and a few days game time to make the F2P considerably easier
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    There are to many critics and trolls and no place for a decent gamer to separate themselves from the whiny crowd.

    *quietly worries which bucket I fall into*

    ( there are an awful lot of broad statements made about gamers on this board and I have to admit I almost always look at them and think "I have absolutely no idea if you consider me part of the problem or part of the solution - asssuming I register as anything other than part of the background noise" )

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,572Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Arclan

    O.P., the dysfunctional communities of today are 100% a symptom of bad game design, aimed at maximizing cash shop sales.

    When a decent game comes along, the community and customer loyalty will be there. Not sure how long til a game like that comes out. I wouldn't count on EQN, but I can still hope.

    I disagree 100% - "the community" is largely a perception that varies from player to player, there is no good or bad community, there are helpful players in every game. There are also bad apples in every game.

    What you see in global chat on a particular server does not represent the entire community of a game - and that is what many players use to gauge a community for entire games, its a very subjective and highly flawed analysis.

    Bottom line - if you are looking for like minded players you can find them in almost any game, just don't expect them in global chat, many quality more mature guilds do not use global chat at all.

     

  • jesadjesad Posts: 753Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by emistz

    Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

    Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

    I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

    I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

    What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

    Wow, what a question.  You know I live to answer this kind of stuff.

    So let's see, 10 years ago, that puts us at about 2003.  A year before City of Heroes.  I'd have to say then that it's probably you, because the community in that game was about as insanely social as one could ask for.

    But let's say you weren't into the Super Hero thing, well that counts as point number 1. in our list of (5).

    1. The number of genre specific MMO's increased to a number that the community could no longer support.  This splintered off the number of socially active people, who's numbers were fewer than the socially inept from the start, to the point where they could no longer find each other.

    2. Gamer greed/mistrust or the "I gotta be the boss" syndrome.  Nothing killed the social community of the MMO more than the natural progression of the average player from follower to wanna be leader.  Game designs that supported the "guild a day" theory helped these people to form their own "green" or "tea" parties (metaphorically speaking) which were never large enough to really get anything done, but were just large enough to sap the socially active energy out of the bigger and more capable guilds.  This symptom later led to # 3.

    3.  The "army of one" theory is where all of the players who used to be in the green or tea parties have now decided that they can do it better also.  In fact, they had learned so much about how these game worked now (which again is the fault of game design) that they could do 90% of it alone.  And for that other 10% that they couldn't, they'd either sell out for a short while by joining someone else's guild, or simply quit playing.  Around this time the only socializing going on was cyber and furry LOL.

    4. Developer greed/desperation.  Game companies began to design games that, instead of teaching the player how to socialize, supported them in not socializing.  The reason for this was very simple.  If a player couldn't find a group to help them accomplish what they needed to accomplish they would just quit playing whatever game that was and go and play whatever game that they knew everyone else was playing.  I believe that this impulse was actually stronger than any genre, any depth of play, and any graphics because I have seen some pretty cheesy games (will not mention names) not only survive but flourish simply because of word of mouth advertising and ease of play.  With that kind of tone set, many other companies moved in the same direction in an attempt to meet their semi-annual, or annual operating budgets.

    5. Voice operation programs.  I know I will catch some flack about being old for this one, but the honest truth of the matter is that no one really wants to sit and listen to you be drunk, be a racists, be a republican or a democrat, be an attention whore, or whatever other annoying thing you can think of all day long right there in their ear.  Typing was way cooler, and I am honestly happy to see a lot of people return to this way of playing.  To sum up why I believe typing was one of the keys to the more social aspects MMO play I offer this.

    a. Typing makes you stop moving.  Not fighting something, jumping up to or down from something, or in general running around in circles like an idiot allows time for thought.  Thought allows time for all kinds of good stuff like tactics, teamwork, and even a little role-play.

    b. Typing allows one to carry on multiple conversations simultaneously.  At best VOIP, when it is actually being used for something to do with the game and not to explain to a bunch of 13 year old's what a donkey punch is, is usually just one guy, or a few guys taking control of a situation (for better or worse) while everyone else touches the puppet head at their command.  This doesn't require social interaction, it requires being able to hit the right color button in order to get the treat.

    c. Finally typing provides an anonymity that I really do believe is necessary in order to provide a comfortable place for a player to truly let loose.  The first moment I ever pop into someone's voice chat the very first feeling I get is that I'm going to have to be civil to this person no matter what kind of idiot or jerk they actually are.  Typing let's you let it all hang out because, yes, you are some anonymous name behind a keyboard, and no, in the overall scheme of things, you really don't matter. But for that few minutes to few days of time that you interact with that one idiot that you really hated, you provided that person, and they provided you with a whole story to tell, and having stories to tell plays a large role in the social interaction of an MMO.

    It's a big picture kind of thing really.  One where you really can't rationally focus the blame in any one direction.  Of course game companies are going to try and do the thing that keeps them making money, and of course people are going to clamor for, and run towards that which is instantly gratifying and thus more pleasing.  The problem with all of that though is that we all know that accomplishing an easy task is not as nearly as satisfying as accomplishing a hard one, and yet we still go for easy.

    The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games.

    They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.

    image
  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member
    Originally posted by emistz

    Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

    Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

    I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

    I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

    What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

    As soon you join a party to do a dungeon and they talk real life dumb or when someone make mistake start to yell your an idiot or wtf your doing moron and all the swearing and trash talk you eventually say to yourself im soloing i dont wanne play with these douchbags.

    Also clans/guilds (not all but many) are no fun anymore they demand this demand that if its work its rediculous sometimes and funny thing is manytimes they make the mistakes or dont honor there rules or agreements.

    Im play solo games becouse im done with mmo becouse of the aweful attitude these days generation.

    I play mmo's sinds 1999 stopped in 2006 had burn out also at the time. Started playing again in 2008 AoC terible launch lasted 6weeks.

    Then started again in 2009 darkfall for 2.5 years 2012 6 months GW2 .

    And after i stopped i had it with mmo's terible communitys for me that is no fun anymore.

    Now i play solo games and DayZ witch btw also have REALY terible community but that game give me opportunity to make idiots life a HELL by killing them and loot all there stuff and they have to start over again.

    I wish all players a good mmo time, its lately just not for me.

  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by Arclan

    O.P., the dysfunctional communities of today are 100% a symptom of bad game design, aimed at maximizing cash shop sales.

    When a decent game comes along, the community and customer loyalty will be there. Not sure how long til a game like that comes out. I wouldn't count on EQN, but I can still hope.

    I disagree 100% - "the community" is largely a perception that varies from player to player, there is no good or bad community, there are helpful players in every game. There are also bad apples in every game.

    What you see in global chat on a particular server does not represent the entire community of a game - and that is what many players use to gauge a community for entire games, its a very subjective and highly flawed analysis.

    Bottom line - if you are looking for like minded players you can find them in almost any game, just don't expect them in global chat, many quality more mature guilds do not use global chat at all.

     

    Ive played for many years and i quit mmo's becouse of my own experience with other players in the game which for me is reason why i eather play solo or quit that particular game.

    That there are also good players nice players and helpfull sure im one of them and ive also meet a few for example in Darkfall but bottom line is majority wont stand up to the dominant trash douchebags ive had huge drama in clans where few idiots try make rules and i oppose them many in whispers support me but never dare saying anything to the douchebags thats why i dont believe soon gamers will change.

    Also the cheating(darkfall) made me deside to stop playing mmo's and also almost DayZ which had many hackers, lucky almost gone now.

    I solo and wont be missed i can live with that,  they dont want social nice and helpfull people, they want idiots:P

    Thats my experience over the years.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,676Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Shadowguy64
    95% of my socializing in-game has been within my guild/party/raid. There's always exceptions, but I never felt the desire to chat with everyone I happen to see in game.

    Most people are that way, especially in earlier MMOs that didn't have global chat.

     

    I can't help but think the OP is trolling or has some additional agenda, because this has been asked and answered countless times already. Someone "On a journey to pro" surely knows how to use google, no?

    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
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

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