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  1. #1
    Stood in the Fire Static Transit's Avatar
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    On Vanilla Nostalgia and "The Server Community"

    Note: In this thread is mostly about the PvE community, as there wasn't much of an established PvP community in Vanilla. I'm sure parallels can be drawn, but I'm not much of a PvPer myself, so hey.

    Now I'm sure that every person that played the game in Vanilla has SOMETHING they feel nostalgic about. For me, it was running to Ironforge from Wetlands for the first time. For others, it may be the glory of finally having saved up enough for their first mount, or perhaps getting a legendary (haha yeah right, unless you were a guild leader).

    The one argument I constantly see people go to though, whenever someone brings up the "rose-tinted glasses" and nostalgia, and particularly when LFD is mentioned, is that the "server community" is gone. "I remember in the good ol' days," they would say (I'm paraphrasing a bit of course, so bear with me), "when if you were bad, you got a reputation for it. If you were a jackass, nobody liked you and you didn't get into a group!"

    "These days," they say, "you can be a total moron and not have to worry about any reparations. You could be a total tool and you'd just be able to re-queue and be able to be a jackass to some other unfortunate group."

    I find that the community IS still most definitely there. However, it isn't in the same form exactly. To be precise, I should say that one isn't "forced" to participate in the community. Now recall, if you will, the days of yore, when there was no LFD. To do absolutely ANYTHING in the game required spamming in the LFG channel for hours. If someone with a bad rep whispers you, they get ignored. It's the exact same these days. The only difference is, it's only with raids now.

    Now I play on the server Kil'Jaeden-US. It's a fairly large server (population of over 10k, according to wowprogress). It's ranked number 5 PvE-wise in the US. It's a big server. Now on this server, the raiding community is still fairly large. Maybe not as large as, say, Illidan, but it's big. Even in this large raiding community, everybody knows who's bad and who's good. In most cases, it's more of a guild reputation thing. For example, if you see someone from Stage Clear or Huge in Japan, they most likely know what they're doing. Then there's guilds like Req, where raid leaders will double-check your raiding credentials before inviting you if they see you're in that guild. However, there's also players that get a rep. Usually it'll be a guild master of a good guild that gets a good rep if he distributes loot fairly, is good at his class, and keeps the raid moving. Then there's players that are so bad, that they become notorious. People will KNOW if you're a bad raider, because the raiders know each other. When someone gets an exceptionally bad raider in their group, they might tell their friends, and word gets around.

    Now the difference, as I said, is that you now have the CHOICE to participate in this community. For casuals that only do LFD, LFR and dailies, you guys don't need to participate. As a matter of fact, you really CAN'T participate in this community unless you're a raider or at least in a raiding guild. Most players won't participate in this community, because a larger portion of the WoW population are casuals. And this is fine. It's okay to be a casual. It's okay to not participate in the community. People may complain that there isn't a community for LFD/LFR, but let's be honest here: how often do you encounter things that problematic in LFR? And you won't be doing heroic dungeons forever, either.

    To wrap it up, what people need to realize is that the community is still there. But in order to be part of it, in order to see it, you have to actually participate in it. Now I'm sure there's also communities in other areas. There's people regularly trolling in Trade chat, there's always those multi-boxers that go around Halfhill killing everyone. But I think that the community that people "miss" about the old days is the raiding community. It's still there. You just have to participate.

    tl;dr The old WoW community isn't gone like everyone says it is, it's merely narrowed itself into the raiding community.

    Murmuur - Kil'Jaeden-US - <Gravity> - Survival Hunter

  2. #2
    Bloodsail Admiral DomesticViolence's Avatar
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    I definitely don't miss spamming for groups or all having to meet at a dungeon's location or even the meeting stone to make that happen, but there were certain things put in place that made people behave a bit better, and you had some things that brought about pride in your choice of faction.

    When you could only roll one faction on a PVP server, you made your choice and had to reroll if you changed your mind. That brought about some faction pride. You were invested.

    If you were an ass in groups, you got a bad rep with the server, and you were blackballed by all the people that count. Word got around that so and so is a ninja.

    I think these are the only two things I miss about vanilla days.

  3. #3
    When you have an option to not participate in social aspects of a social game, it does raise a question why choose a social game to begin with?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dzudzadzo View Post
    When you have an option to not participate in social aspects of a social game, it does raise a question why choose a social game to begin with?
    MMO is just a game with multiple players in a persistent world. Never did it mean you have to interact socially with these people. Hell, you can be not social in the real world and still do fine. How is that possible, as the world is full of people, just like an MMO? I mainly play solo, plenty of single player things to do

    I always wonder about why this happens:

    Classic:
    - Server A, 1000 people, so called tight-knit community. Reputation haunted you.
    - Server B, 800 people, so called tight-knit community. Reputation haunted you.
    - Server C, 1400 people, so called tight-knit community. Reputation haunted you.

    After LFG:
    - Server Pool A+B+C, 3200 people, oh we suddenly don't care about what anyone does, even if you're a moron. Reputation doesn't matter.

    The community itself is to blame for the lack of community. There is no reason why people cared about reputation with 800-1400 people and not with 3200 people (fictional numbers, of course). If you just kick people from your LFG group as you would kick people from your server group, the effect will be the same. You can ignore, just like before, you can communicate with people from different servers if you want them to know about a certain person, nothing changed. The only thing that changed is that there are more people on 'your server'.

    People like to blame their own failure on Blizzard. When I'm in a group and someone goes on follow, does nothing and rolls need on everything, I announce that I want to kick that person. Then 3 others refuse to do so, because it's faster to just finish it with the leech then kick him and wait for replacement. I then leave the group myself. Do you really think those people had a good community in Classic? Of course not, they were the same back then (if they played) and simply don't care about ethics and community. Removing LFG won't change that. They wouldn't kick someone from their own server either. In fact, it is even less likely that they'd kick anyone when LFG wouldn't exist, because it took an HOUR to get the group in the first place and getting a replacement would take forever too.
    Arguing with a troll is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what you do or say, he will just knock over the pieces, take a shit on the board and strut around like he won the whole damn thing.

  5. #5
    Legendary! TJ's Avatar
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    Yeah, transfers and the lfg features have completely stopped the reputation of players. I remember on the weekend sometime at the end of Wrath I was known for making ICC 25 pugs which were organised with vent etc to get further than a normal pug, so ofc everyone wanted in. Even then there was a few people you knew not to invite because they had a bad reputation for trolling or just being intentionally bad haha. It was awesome and I really enjoyed it. Now lfg was around at this time, but it was only for dungeons, so people still wanted to do raids if they didn't have a guild, lfr has definitely changed that even though the ilvl difference is still there.
    Last edited by TJ; 2013-02-08 at 11:57 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Static Transit View Post
    I find that the community IS still most definitely there. However, it isn't in the same form exactly. To be precise, I should say that one isn't "forced" to participate in the community. Now recall, if you will, the days of yore, when there was no LFD. To do absolutely ANYTHING in the game required spamming in the LFG channel for hours. If someone with a bad rep whispers you, they get ignored. It's the exact same these days. The only difference is, it's only with raids now.
    This couldn't be further from the truth. First, there just is no community left on my old server (I don't play anymore). It's a combination of variety of things, including dropping sub numbers, all the old 25 man guilds dying and 10 man guilds coming and going without being able to establish a real basis for a community, and LFR/LFD requiring no interaction with people. We used to have a great community with our own server forums, guild rivalries, IRL meetings for many of the old guilds etc. Now you might as well play a facebook game or something.

    Second, if you were spamming LFG channel for hours, then that's simply you being dumb. I had a friends list full of people I had got to know in 5 mans and I could put together a good 5 man group very fast. And it would be fun to run because they would be people I know and they would act pleasant because reputations mattered. The LFD/LFR system pushes people to be rude and antisocial. It's not a choice, in practice people are forced to use those things because they're the easiest way to get the same rewards. The end result is that people end up doing something that gives them less enjoyment; it's not rational but people are not rational.

    When I look at WoW today, I don't see any kind of community. I see minigames that you teleport to and mindlessly zerg through. The small corners with any sense of community left, the 25 man raiding guilds, are being systematically killed off by a system that is essentially soloing with other people around (they might as well be NPCs) and small 10 man guilds that people don't feel any commitment to because they're so easy to start and you can stay fully geared for the latest content without even participating in them at all.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-08 at 12:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by lios View Post
    If you just kick people from your LFG group as you would kick people from your server group, the effect will be the same. You can ignore, just like before, you can communicate with people from different servers if you want them to know about a certain person, nothing changed. The only thing that changed is that there are more people on 'your server'.
    That's some amazing mental acrobatics. It's truly amazing how you can reconcile the observable reality in the game being completely and utterly contradictory to your little "theory" there.

  7. #7
    For me the biggest thing that tied the community together was the familiarity of common struggle.

    In classic you literally did everything with your server community, and some of the best times was in pvp. Back then we had a constant struggle with the opposing (and more numerous) faction and we grew to know and depend on others in our faction through that.

    We even got to know the enemy faction's premades and respected them for their skill. Once even the alliance team leader relogged an alt and congratulated us on a well fought game.

    Cross realm bgs was the start of the rot imo. The faction no longer fought together, and gradually the spirit of fighting a common enemy faded.

  8. #8
    Communities are not as random as people think. It's the game design that forms the community.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Martoshi View Post
    That's some amazing mental acrobatics. It's truly amazing how you can reconcile the observable reality in the game being completely and utterly contradictory to your little "theory" there.
    Tell me, what is the observable reality? You can't kick people from an LFG or LFR group? False. You can't ignore cross-realm? False. You can't communicate cross-realm? False. So, please explain your comment.
    Arguing with a troll is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what you do or say, he will just knock over the pieces, take a shit on the board and strut around like he won the whole damn thing.

  10. #10
    Well the bottom line is, if people changed from the old ways as soon as another, more convenient option was available (speaking of things like LFD, LFR, Random BGs, etc) then obviously those people didn't like the old way too much. Regardless of it being an MMO, many people (such as myself) want to play WoW without relying completely on other people to enjoy it, without dedicating ourselves to guilds and schedules and all that. There's nothing wrong with that. Hell, using SWTOR as an example, I was in love with that game before the server merges when I had entire worlds to myself. Now, with people around, I don't enjoy it at all really anymore. Granted, that game's focus for me was the questing rather than end game, but still. It's not about the social experience for many people. If people are leaving your guild, or not interacting with you as much, or whatever, then they're doing it because they don't have to (meaning they didn't really want to to begin with) and therefore, it's the players themselves to blame, not WoW. I disagree that it's only still there for raiders, there are plenty of big, dedicated PvP guilds as well. It's just that many players simply don't want to tie themselves to others, and you've got to find those that still do (note: even as someone who isn't interested in socializing, I don't think it's an excuse for people to act like trolls and pricks just because their reputation doesn't really matter anymore.)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Itisamuh View Post
    Well the bottom line is, if people changed from the old ways as soon as another, more convenient option was available (speaking of things like LFD, LFR, Random BGs, etc) then obviously those people didn't like the old way too much. Regardless of it being an MMO, many people (such as myself) want to play WoW without relying completely on other people to enjoy it, without dedicating ourselves to guilds and schedules and all that. There's nothing wrong with that.
    There's everything wrong with that. It's like going to a vegetarian restaurant and demanding they start to serve steaks.

  12. #12
    I do miss the sense of community leveling up in Vanilla. It was fun to group with people and get to know who was good and who was an ass.

  13. #13
    Bloodsail Admiral Skeletroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dzudzadzo View Post
    When you have an option to not participate in social aspects of a social game, it does raise a question why choose a social game to begin with?
    I've never really played this game as a "social game", always leveled alone since classic even if i had few friends back then. Though i did dailies as a group in TBC and Cata, in pandaria i have 2 x pandarian loremaster and have not done single daily in a group. My friend list been empty since 4.3 and i prefer it that way, thanks.

    And i think most of the "there is no community today"-whiners never really helped to establish their community in any way back then. You can still be a part of community today if you really want.
    Former unique snowflake.

  14. #14
    High Overlord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Static Transit View Post
    To wrap it up, what people need to realize is that the community is still there. But in order to be part of it, in order to see it, you have to actually participate in it. Now I'm sure there's also communities in other areas. There's people regularly trolling in Trade chat, there's always those multi-boxers that go around Halfhill killing everyone. But I think that the community that people "miss" about the old days is the raiding community. It's still there. You just have to participate.

    tl;dr The old WoW community isn't gone like everyone says it is, it's merely narrowed itself into the raiding community.
    In other words, the community is dead. Relations between guilds used to be so close that everyone knew every guild leader, who had recently left/joined a guild, which guilds had downed what bosses, etc. Guilds would actually cooperate and help each other out with things like world bosses or crafting Ragnaros.

    And there most definitely was a very strong PvP community in vanilla. The same people were always in TM/SS or out patrolling high level zones like Eastern Plaguelands. Once BGs were released, the PvP community only got larger and stronger. There were no cross-realm BGs and you actually had to go to the BG entrance to queue. This not only created a great opportunity for world PvP, it also gathered the PvPers of your own faction in one place and then pitted you against familiar enemies every game. You got to know who you were fighting with AND against.

    I keep seeing people like you making up excuses and trying to claim a bunch of loosely associated cliques counts as a "community". The rationalization is always the same: 'It's still there! You just have to look for it... in a remote, dusty corner... under a barrel... on a deserted island. I know, it sounds like it's not there, but it totally is if you look hard enough!

    Uh huh, nice try. I'm not buying it. What you're calling a "community" is only a shadow of what existed in vanilla, nothing but a sad reminder of how great the community once was.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Martoshi View Post
    There's everything wrong with that. It's like going to a vegetarian restaurant and demanding they start to serve steaks.
    No, it's like sitting at home playing a computer game while there is a whole social world out there with real people in it. You aren't socialising 100% of the time in the real world either, are you? You do things on your own. Some people even do everything on their own. That is completely normal, yet in a game you have to socialise or you shouldn't be playing? That makes no sense.
    Arguing with a troll is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what you do or say, he will just knock over the pieces, take a shit on the board and strut around like he won the whole damn thing.

  16. #16
    As someone who was more of a PvP'er than a raider back in Vanilla, there most certainly was a PvP community back then. Keep in mind that battlegrounds used to be vs. your own server. On all of the PvP servers I played on, there always ended up being several well known pre-made groups, players, and guilds.

    And really, from a PvE standpoint, it's just hard to not see how all of the "convenient" changes to the game have hurt it in the long run.

    On a side note, I'm really interested in seeing how "Titan" turns out (assuming it is an MMO). I wonder what lessons they will take from WoW's development, because it'd be a shame to see that game slowly rot away as well.

  17. #17
    The gamers crowd mmo fans were replaced by the Wal-Mart crowd.

    I wonder where the mod is to close this thread? As this sort of thread has been over done a thousand times now. I wonder how they differentiate since all posts have been overdone at this point?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by konway View Post
    In other words, the community is dead. Relations between guilds used to be so close that everyone knew every guild leader, who had recently left/joined a guild, which guilds had downed what bosses, etc. Guilds would actually cooperate and help each other out with things like world bosses or crafting Ragnaros.

    And there most definitely was a very strong PvP community in vanilla. The same people were always in TM/SS or out patrolling high level zones like Eastern Plaguelands. Once BGs were released, the PvP community only got larger and stronger. There were no cross-realm BGs and you actually had to go to the BG entrance to queue. This not only created a great opportunity for world PvP, it also gathered the PvPers of your own faction in one place and then pitted you against familiar enemies every game. You got to know who you were fighting with AND against.

    I keep seeing people like you making up excuses and trying to claim a bunch of loosely associated cliques counts as a "community". The rationalization is always the same: 'It's still there! You just have to look for it... in a remote, dusty corner... under a barrel... on a deserted island. I know, it sounds like it's not there, but it totally is if you look hard enough!

    Uh huh, nice try. I'm not buying it. What you're calling a "community" is only a shadow of what existed in vanilla, nothing but a sad reminder of how great the community once was.
    I don't know about you but it sucked having to go to the battle ground entrance just to queue to get into the battle ground. It rarely created PVP and if it did it was usually a mass brawl that quickly got old and no one bothered after a while. Sure TM/Southshore was great fun back in the day, but it only existed as there were not battle grounds to fight over. World PVP was mostly ganking targets of opportunity. Usually someone ganking lowbies which still happens. In MOP I had plenty of world pvp over mining nodes same as in cata.

    True you got know the people you thought against, only the good ones did you remember everyone else was just another random player you quickly forgot about. there were often very long queues for battle grounds back then. (somedays were quick)

    The community is still there its just not what you expect. In the old days you either got into a big guild to do raiding, or joined a PVP guild to get anywhere. If you were not in one of those guilds you could not do end game content. Some guilds popped up and did some MC clears after months of gathering resources but often found their members poached by bigger guilds needing players they can easily gear up. It was very common. The realm forums still exist.

    I mainly kept contact within my guild but I knew other people in other guilds much like I do now. Most people are on different servers and thanks to battle net I can continue to chat to them.

    Sure LFD and LFR did have a side effect on the games community that can't be denied. BUT - LFR allowed MORE people to raid than ever before. People who even during cata and wrath never saw raiding content can now experience it. People who no longer have the time to raid in a guild or players maybe not good enough to step up to normal/heroic modes can try their hand at raiding, or some people who were put off at the idea of joining a guild just to raid can now experience it.

    Your main source of community should be your friends list and your guild. Anything else is a bonus.

  19. #19
    I ran everything with guildies in Vanilla.

    I run everything with guildies now.

    The social aspect of the game hasn't changed even 1% for me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by khalltusk View Post
    I don't know about you but it sucked having to go to the battle ground entrance just to queue to get into the battle ground. It rarely created PVP and if it did it was usually a mass brawl that quickly got old and no one bothered after a while. Sure TM/Southshore was great fun back in the day, but it only existed as there were not battle grounds to fight over. World PVP was mostly ganking targets of opportunity. Usually someone ganking lowbies which still happens. In MOP I had plenty of world pvp over mining nodes same as in cata.

    True you got know the people you thought against, only the good ones did you remember everyone else was just another random player you quickly forgot about. there were often very long queues for battle grounds back then. (somedays were quick)

    The community is still there its just not what you expect. In the old days you either got into a big guild to do raiding, or joined a PVP guild to get anywhere. If you were not in one of those guilds you could not do end game content. Some guilds popped up and did some MC clears after months of gathering resources but often found their members poached by bigger guilds needing players they can easily gear up. It was very common. The realm forums still exist.
    Exactly, WoW was once like a high-end restaurant: serving quality content catered to a dedicated playerbase. Now, it's McDonald's: serving convenient junk to a bunch of fickle crybabies.

    "It takes me too long to get to the BG queue, waaaaah. It takes me too long to find groups, waaaaaah. Running everywhere on ground mounts takes too long, waaaah. I can't see raids because I'm a notorious asshat and no guilds will take me, waaaah."

    Blizzard gave in to the whiners, and everyone else is paying the price now. That's why these threads keep popping up everywhere; the Blizz forums, MMO-Champ, Arena Junkies. Everywhere you go, people who played during vanilla are lamenting the death of server communities. Server forums still exist, but no one uses them. They're filled with empty recruitment threads.

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